The Gleaner

Good thing we are not made of sugar

This year’s edition of Expo Ormstown was wet but resilient.

Very ominous photos of dark clouds, sheets of rain, and a particularly menacing funnel cloud hovering over the fairgrounds on June 7 have been circulating on social media. Some areas rather close to the fairgrounds received a good pelting with hail on Friday as well. But, for as many photos of the wet and wild weather posted, there were even more images of decorated floats, smiling children, farm animal encounters, tractors pulling, and classic fair food. Here at The Gleaner, we have never received so many photographs of rainbows as we did this past weekend, even during the earliest days of the pandemic. The unsettled weather gave fairgoers multiple displays of vibrant colour running across the sky as sunbursts followed almost every downpour.

Valley folk and a good many from the surrounding communities and cities proved that a little rain (or even a lot of rain) is not enough to stop a good time. Perhaps it is a sign that we are already adapting to the extreme or uncertain weather patterns that are expected to only get worse with climate change. The high turnout is also a reminder that the Expo Ormstown amounts to an annual ritual or pilgrimage for so many who have moved from the Valley but still call it home.

The Livestock Breeders Association and their 50-year partnership with Campbell Amusements was widely celebrated, and while the rides have been updated and changed over the years, the sounds and smells of the midway have stayed the same. So much of the fair runs on nostalgia, and the team behind the LBA have become masters at mixing the old with the new – so much so that the new dining hall, which opened just in time for the weekend, fits right in with the look and feel of the grounds.

The LBA and its exceptionally dedicated team of volunteers pulled on their boots and ponchos for the weekend and kept the fair moving, even if it meant towing a few cars from mud-slicked parking lots. It was simply a wonderful community event. Now – bring on summer.
Sarah Rennie

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