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Huntingdon Fair breaks records despite rain and a ‘little’ mud

A late afternoon shower that dampened floats and left puddles along the parade route wasn’t enough to stop fairgoers from flocking to the 196th edition of the Huntingdon Fair over the weekend.

Following the parade and official opening ceremonies on August 10, crowds watched as the Godmanchester Fire Department won top honours in the annual water ball competition before gathering around the ring for the premiere presentation of Beauharnois Championship Wrestling.

 

Wrestlers from Beauharnois Championship Wrestling took to the ring on Thursday to hammer out a series of bouts before a very enthusiastic crowd PHOTO Sarah Rennie

 

“The wrestlers brought more people onto the grounds than we have ever had on a Thursday,” says Tammy Arthur, the secretary-treasurer for the Huntingdon Agricultural Society, suggesting the colourful performances by the slate of fighters was a good bet on the part of organizers.

 

James Scoble participated in the 4 H show with his calf Revlon from the Money Making Ayrshires farm in Howick The calf was the sixth generation of her bovine family to participate in the Huntingdon 4 H show PHOTO Sarah Rennie

 

Friday’s attendance broke records all around. The midway was full, the stands were packed for the traditional tractor pulls put on by Association Sportive de Tire de Tracteurs du Québec (ASTTQ), and country music band Ambush brought down the house. “I have never seen so many people under the tent,” says Arthur.

 

Children enjoyed meeting a special visitor to the fair on Friday following a presentation by Pats Pet Show PHOTO Sarah Rennie

 

The grounds were teeming once again on Saturday, when a sudden downpour forced the cancellation of tractor pulls scheduled for that night. Blues rock band West DeVille started their set early, and many stayed to enjoy the show.

 

A rainbow helped open the 196th edition of the fair as parade participants made their way onto the grounds Thursday evening PHOTO Sarah Rennie

 

The rain continued overnight, but organizers awoke to sunny skies and a massive task ahead. Volunteers were on site early to scrape the top layer of mud from the demolition derby pit and to ensure the tractors and recreation vehicles stuck in the back field were safely towed out. “It was a bit of a challenge to get Sunday morning going; our board of directors pulled it together,” says Arthur, noting volunteers worked extremely hard to ensure the events and activities on Sunday could run safely. “They did an amazing job.”

 

Mud was flying during the fan favourite demolition derby on Sunday PHOTO Sarah Rennie

 

Arthur says that along with a growing number of visitors each year, the fair is also attracting new exhibitors and is continuing to grow. There were 1367 exhibits entered by 160 exhibitors between the different youth and adult categories. The 4-H showmanship event included 39 head of cattle. Arthur says this is good news and suggests the fair will continue to develop thanks to the dedication of the board of directors and its many volunteers.

 

The Huntingdon 4 H Club took first place in a bale decorating competition between area clubs with their frog creation Howick 4 H finished in second while the Ormstown club came in third PHOTO Sarah Rennie

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