ACF successful again
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.