24,000 come out to Ayer’s Cliff Fair!
“This year’s Fair was a resounding success and we were very satisfied. Mother Nature dealt us a good card and it was the last real weekend before school starts up again, so a good time to see friends and family at the Fair. We’re now boasting that we’ve had three and four generations of exhibitors at the Ayer’s Cliff Fair,” commented the Fair’s vice-president, Angus MacKinnon, in an interview with the Stanstead Journal on Monday.
Last visitor count for the 169th edition of the Ayer’s Cliff Fair was around 24,000; definitely a good year. “The Grandstand was bursting at the seams on Sunday night for the Truck Pull – people came out in droves,” continued Mr. MacKinnon. The live musical shows, featuring Dany Flanders on Thursday night, Les Country Girls on Friday night, and Doc Walker on Saturday night were also well-attended.
Even though there are fewer and fewer farms in the region, the barns and stables on the Fairgrounds were full. Some of the top trophy winners included the Ferme Roggua, of Stanstead, for top Holstein. The Morin Family, of Melbourne, won top prize in the Ayrshire category. Dale Mosher received the Jim Kanna Award for his horse riding in the speed classes. Although Mr. MacKinnon didn’t take part in the horse competitions this year, he did enjoy watching his daughter, Martha MacKinnon, win the Jim Kanna Prize for Youth Horsemanship.
The 4H’s Pig Scramble, now in its second year, is becoming a real crowdpleaser. Almost thirty young kids ran around trying to catch little piglets with almost everyone going home with a live, young and squealing prize to raise. “My niece caught one of the pigs but she lives in town, so I’ll get to raise it,” said the vice-president. That’s what happens when “The City meets the Country”! The 4H Live Turkey Auction, held on Sunday after the parade, netted almost $2,500 for the Children’s Wish Foundation. The ‘top turkey’ raised a walloping $1,200 after the Beef exhibitors at the Fair got together to bid on it. It weighed close to thirty pounds!
Another relatively new event, the Miniature Horse Show, is more popular with the crowd every year and, now the largest Miniature Horse Show in Quebec, attracting miniature horse breeders from near and far. The agility contest, that has the horses almost doing circus tricks, is a crowd favourite.
“It was a great weekend and it was great to see all the smiles on the faces. The Fair wouldn’t be a success without the hundreds of volunteers who come back every year to help. Some people who have moved away from the area actually plan their holidays around the Ayer’s Cliff Fair so they can come and do eight or nine hours of volunteer work. We also have a great office staff, relaxed and under control all week-end, and great support from the Sureté du Quebec,” concluded Mr. MacKinnon.