ACF suc­cess­ful again

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Stephanie Anna Ruf, Spe­cial col­lab­o­ra­tion

Once again, the Ayer's Cliff Fair was one to re­mem­ber, with it's won­der­ful weather and great mo­ments. Only on Sun­day af­ter­noon did mother na­ture de­cided to worry us with the dark clouds that in the end, were only a break from the sun­shine.

Thurs­day, day one of the Ayer's Cliff Fair, the rides were warmed up by the riders, barely any­one in the mid­way al­low­ing no wait times. Bumper cars, the Scram­bler, Free Fall and the Pi­rate boat were big win­ners. All kiosks were up and ready, all com­pe­ti­tion en­tries were in. The barns were full and the horses with their riders be­gan to train. Fi­nally the Fair was in full swing. Chil­dren laugh­ing, teenagers scream­ing while on the rides and par­ents run­ning af­ter their kids are another sure sign.

With the smell of mini donuts in the air, ACF go­ers had a lot to choose from, food-wise and ac­tiv­ity-wise. As tra­di­tion, I had to stop and have a sausage at Derby's Can­teen. Then stopped in to see Sara Roy's fried dough kiosk where she dis­played her amaz­ing "cake-work". Just a skip away was the oh-so de­li­cious Pop­corn, can't say no to that!!!

The Mid­way was filled with many rides and games where one could win adorable ted­dies such as the much loved Minions. Some folks were even spot­ted with larger than life ted­dies; some­one must have prac­ticed the wa­ter gun game all win­ter! Ev­ery­day of the ACF you could see a very in­ter­est­ing show, the Mus­tang Show. It con­sist of a guy and his horse, Mus­tang, along with 2 dogs. Mus­tang and the dogs do amaz­ing tricks, it is true en­ter­tain­ment for young and old.

A lit­tle twist this year; a ride was put in the ball park area, where the trac­tors from Equip­ment Payeur are dis­played and the mini pet­ting zoo sits. I have to say, hav­ing spent a lot of time at my fa­ther's site, where he dis­plays his trail­ers for sale, this was a won­der­ful idea. The ride, Yoyo, fun for all, en­cour­aged visi­tors to "cross the track" and see what's on the other side!

Day two and three brought more sun­shine and visi­tors and the in­fa­mous horse races! Any­where on the Fair grounds, you could hear the ex­cite­ment in the air as the horses ap­proached the fin­ish line at ev­ery race. The mid­way was packed full both af­ter­noons and into the evenings with wait times for rides mak­ing you think you were at La Ronde! The only time it be­came qui­eter was dur- ing the shows; Fri­day evening's Rodeo Drive and Satur­day evening's Les 3 Ac­cords. With a large crowed on Satur­day evening fill­ing the track in front of the stage and many more in the stands, the show was great. "The qual­ity of the sound and the light­ing was up to pair with any other out­door show, it was a big set up and well done" stated an au­dio-vis­ual tech­ni­cian from Mon­treal down for the week­end with his chil­dren en­joy- ing the show. Hear­ing the spec­ta­tors sing along to the com­i­cal and catchy, stay-stuck-in-your-headall-day kind of songs this band of­fers, clap­ping and danc­ing made it clear that the show was ap­pre­ci­ated by all, even my "known not to smile" hus­band was singing the words to "Elle s'ap­pelait Serge"! Dur­ing the about 2 hour show, the band in­ter­acted with the crowd and ex­pressed many times how welcome they felt.

The Beer tent hosted a live band on the 3 first nights of the ACF at­tract­ing as al­ways a large crowed of line dancers, two-step­pers and beer fa­nat­ics.

Day four, Sun­day noon, came the pa­rade. A pre­cious mo­ment to thank ev­ery­one for tak­ing the time to come and ex­hibit their an­i­mals.

Sun­day evening, visi­tors started to fill the grand­stand an­tic­i­pat­ing the start of the ASTTQ Truck Pulls with it's main spon­sor Ser­vice Agri­cole Luke Belanger. As many of us sat there, sur­rounded by spec­ta­tors eat­ing a Blos­som Onion, we could not re­sist...and it was just as good as last year! Many lo­cals tried the pulls this year, with 17 trucks in the Street cat­e­gory. One poor GMC, not lik­ing pulling

so much weight, protested to it's owner by spit­ting a huge con­tin­uos cloud of white smoke, never a good sign...

Once this cat­e­gory done, the "big boys" came out. This is the part where the chil­dren and del­i­cate ears are rec­om­mended to pro­tect them. With fire com­ing out of the pipes, the trucks roared and smoked their way up the track hop­ing to do a full pull, 300 feet. Lo­cal truck, The Rock, as al­ways achieved this with ease.

Then came the ul­tra loud ve­hi­cles, the mod­i­fied trac­tors, you know, the ones where EV­ERY­ONE cov­ers their ears. With their su­per­charg­ers the sound is sur­real. One run up the track and all was at a stand-still, un­til the host an­nounced the un­for­tu­nate news: the sled broke. The show could not go on as it would take many hours to fix. With this abrupt end to the show, the crowd slowly dis­persed leav­ing only the red shim­mer of tail­lights in sight, as ev­ery­one left. As my hus­band and I walked around the ACF grounds one more time, while the carnies were tak­ing down the rides and the kiosks were clos­ing shop, I felt the usual bit­ter­sweet emo­tion. The­ses four days are a chance to see long lost friends who come from far and close, to re­mem­ber the good old days and to make new friends. And need I say, the end of sum­mer.

Guy Pa­try of the lo­cal Tra­di­tion su­per­mar­ket was the spon­sor of the af­ter open­ing get to­gether.

Pres­i­dent An­gus McKin­non was brief in his re­mark at the Fair open­ing

The fair would be in­com­plete with­out the arts and crafts. Here, shown trough one of his steel cut sculp­ture is Stanstead-East Benoit Trem­blay.

Rodéo Drive, the Fri­day night main at­trac­tion, made ev­ery­one a danc­ing cow­boy for the evening.

Ma­chin­ery ex­hibits, here from Dis­tri­bu­tions Payeur, are a huge part of the suc­cess of all fairs.

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