Maureen McNeil Mark your calendars for September 14. Havelock Fair is celebrating its 148th year, making it one of the oldest consecutively held fairs in Canada. First held in 1871, the fair grew out of the pride over what local farmers and their households produced, and it still holds close to its roots of showcasing rural agricultural life. It draws locals, those from neighbouring communities, and people from larger urban centres whose ancestors may have lived a way of life that the fair is a reminder of. Here are some of the main events for this year’s fair: The Elgin & District Pipes and Drums will perform at 11 a.m., walking the grounds to officially open the fair. A barbecue chicken lunch ($15) will be served by the Women’s Auxiliary of the Barrie Memorial Hospital. Robert Craig & Rocky Top will headline the live music show and are sure to get all ages up dancing. The activities for families include game, face painting, the bouncy castle, a petting zoo, children’s races and games, and a magician. The ever-popular gymkhana, a big draw for novice and seasoned riders alike, and the 4-H youth are mainstays of the fair. Interest in heritage and rare animal breeds is on the rise so a section of the grounds has been dedicated to showing them. A sheep-herding demonstration is in the works and Massey and Fergie, Quinn Farm’s pair of oxen, are coming. Aside from all this and more, there are the wonderful exhibits of traditional arts and crafts, plants and flowers, fruits and vegetables, homemade produce, and forage crops. Why not enter something? It takes a community participating to make a fair great. Gretta and Ross Whyte have been a big part of the fair for decades. Ross has been a director for more than 60 years. They see the fair as “keeping alive what built this community” — hard work and a love of the land. As a six-year-old, Ross went to the fair in a horse and buggy and the cattle were driven, not transported in trucks. Prior to 1958 the fair was held on a Wednesday, so schools were closed for the day. Gretta reminisced that showing your home and garden produce “became an incentive to get better,” and remembers that it was a time when Roma families came in their wagons selling pots and pans. As a country fair that has seen many changes over almost 150 years, the Havelock event remains grounded in promoting rural agricultural awareness and its many inherent traditions. Throughout the years the fair has remained a community event worth celebrating. As a family day, a social time, fun and educational, it puts us in contact with the heart of rural life and its people. You are invited to come and keep this spirit alive. Saturday, Sept. 14, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., 455 Route 202, Havelock. Entrance $10, children under 12 free. Website: foire-havelock-inc.com. Join us on Facebook.