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Big crowds and lots of fun at Expo Ormstown

A mid-parade downpour on Thursday evening did nothing to dampen spirits in Ormstown for the start of the 107th edition of Expo Ormstown over the weekend. And while the records set during last year’s event may not have been broken, this year’s edition of the Ormstown fair was just as exceptional.

 

Franklin Elementary School took home the first place ribbon for their exceptionally decorated float in the opening parade of the 107th edition of Expo Ormstown The second place float was entered by Howick Elementary School and Heritage Elementary School was awarded third place PHOTO Sarah Rennie

 

“I went into this year thinking it was going to be a disappointment and it was the opposite of that,” says Sue Morison, the general manager of the Livestock Breeders Association of the District of Beauharnois. “Last year was chaos. We were overwhelmed and the visitors were overwhelmed,” she says, noting the lessons gleaned from last year’s edition helped to ensure things rolled smoothly over the four days this time around.

 

A view of the crowded midway at Expo Ormstown on Saturday evening from prime seats on the ferris wheel This years fair may not have broken attendance records but it marked a return to busy pre pandemic levels which suited organizers just fine PHOTO Ian Ward

 

“We are lucky to have the same teams that come back year after year, so they know what to do,” she explains. “This year it really came down to every volunteer that is here and the staff that we have,” she adds, suggesting it is especially exciting to see a younger generation becoming more and more involved.

 

Harvest Hill Belgians from North Gower Ontario waited for their cue to enter the arena on Friday The majestic teams of heavy horses in the six and eight horse hitch events are always a huge draw PHOTO Yvonne Lewis Langlois

 

The parking lot was filled to capacity on Saturday, the grounds were packed, and online sales for the event doubled those from last year. Official attendance numbers were not available by press time, but several organizations agree there was something special about this year’s fair.

 

Young equestrians wait outside the barns near the arena for the start of their events during the horse show on Saturday afternoon PHOTO Sarah Rennie

 

The 1st Ormstown, Huntingdon and Howick scouts cooked and sold over 1,400 pounds of grillades over three days, while the Ormstown Curling Club ran out of certain menu items at their booth on Saturday and were forced to restock.

 

The demolition derby thrilled crowds in the grandstands Sunday afternoon as Expo Ormstown wound down four exciting days of activities PHOTO Donald Roberge

 

Elen Cameron, who helped manage the 4-H dairy bar, says the kids manning the booth scooped around 684 litres or 60 tubs of ice cream, and at least 80 two-litre cartons of milk went into milkshakes over the weekend. She says it was an exceptional year and praised the dedication of Ormstown 4-H members who worked hard to ensure their customers were well served. In addition to the leadership, teamwork and public speaking skills the 4-H members gained by serving the public all weekend, the initiative raised some $10,000 for the club. 

 

Jessica Denison posed in the 4 H barn with a sweet new friend named Golden Ring from Terrace Bank Farm in Howick The fair featured the annual 4 H small animal classes and judging and showmanship events as well as a new focus this year on cattle breeds which included a parade of beef breeds and beef cattle demonstration PHOTO Sarah Rennie

 

“We have a pretty amazing community, and when we are able to have a fair like this it really shows,” says Morison. “We have a good thing going on.”

 

Fans crowded the stands for the ASTTQ tractor pull event on Friday evening PHOTO Yvonne Lewis Langlois

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