– less in buildings
volunteering at the Ayer’s Cliff Fair for thirteen years, ever since I retired,” said Barbara.
“My Aunt Ruby Sheldon got me involved with the Ayer’s Cliff Fair. I’ve been volunteering here since 1984,” said Debbie Smith as she was doing the tagging of the Horticulture Department contests, not an easy task after just having cataract surgery. Her husband, Bruce Smith, was helping. Busy judging, tagging and recording the results of the floral competitions were fifteen year volunteer and fair Director Tricia McDaid, Louise Baldwin who is celebrating her 25th year as a volunteer at the Ayer’s Cliff Fair, Sonya Voggenreiter who was volunteering for a second year, and Joy MacDonald in her first year as a volunteer. “Sonya roped me in, this year, to be a volunteer,” admitted Joy. Tricia then shared her story about how she started volunteering at the fair. “I used to babysit for Jennifer and Angus MacKinnon and, one day, Angus said I should come to church so I could meet people. I said ‘No way’, and so Angus said, ‘Well then you better join the Horticultural Society at the fair.”
While in the Horticulture Building, the volunteers pointed out the building’s latest improvements. “We have a brand new roof now, installed by volunteers. The new skirting at the displays was donated by Sheard’s and volunteers sewed all the material,” added Ms. McDaid. On the other side of the building, Leslie Bliss and Wendy Butler were busy judging the decorated pumpkins. “It’s my fifth year with the Horticulture Building and I did the racetrack for six years before that,” said Wendy with a big smile. “I have a picture of my father at the Ayer’s Cliff Fair in 1921 and we still have fair tags at home from 1921. We used to live at the fair since the time I was walking,” said Mr. Bliss, a dairy farmer who raises Jersey cattle. “We’ve been getting the Stanstead Journal for sixty-three years!” he added impressively.
“I’m often asked what’s the key to the success of the Ayer’s Cliff Fair,” said Fair president Angus MacKinnon, and I say: “It’s the people; the visitors and the volunteers.”