It may be a bit harder to claim it never rains on Havelock Fair after wet weather dampened the second day of this year’s two-day affair. The good news is that sunny skies and a fantastic turnout on Saturday more than made up for the drop in attendance on Sunday.
“We must have had about 2400 people,” says Havelock Fair president Keith McAdam of Saturday’s crowds. “It was very good,” he confirms, noting that despite the disappointing shift in the weather they managed to hold the miniature horse and pony show on Sunday, though some classes took place under the cover of the 4-H barn. The live music continued through the rain and, he adds, the organizers took it all in stride.
Entries in the exhibition hall were up this year, says McAdam, who credits some new categories and new faces on committees for the increase. “The arts seemed to really pick up,” he notes. Visitors also appreciated the different kiosks where they could meet with representatives from community organizations, local artisans, and producers.
During the cattle show, organizers honoured Ruth and Michael Robson of Saint-Armand who have been showing their Hereford beef cattle at the fair for 50 years. Along with the cattle, horse trailers dotted the grounds, with Saturday’s horse show and gymkhana featuring equitation, pleasure, and game classes interspersed with heavy horse demonstrations of Clydesdales and Percherons in full harness. “Everything went very smoothly,” says organizer David Brisebois, who notes that local riders as well as some from Montreal and the Eastern Townships made for a successful show.
McAdam says the board is very motivated, but admits it takes a lot of volunteers to run a two-day fair. “We are very fortunate that way,” he says, noting there are always people ready to lend a hand. “There is always updating,” he says, whether it’s tending the grounds and repairing buildings to helping to modernize the facilities. Wi-fi was installed in the main office this year, for example. “Everyone else is way ahead of us,” he laughs, with a hint of pride. But not to worry, there are no plans to abandon the traditions that make Havelock Fair so special anytime soon.