Agricultural Society Celebrates Rural Life
The Acton Agricultural Society helped the town of Acton, ON usher in autumn with their three day Fall Fair, which ran from September 19-21. The event was supported by over 80 companies that provided donations, advertising and sponsorships, including Crisco, Fleischmann’s Yeast, Robin Hood Flour, Roxy Coffee, Shoppers Drug Mart, Scotiabank and the local Tim Hortons.
Jill Medland, Secretary/Treasurer of the society and one of the fair’s organizers, says they always look to “provide a community event that highlights and promotes agriculture and rural life,” with the event, which had its 101st anniversary this year. The group “looks to make a profit each year that helps support other community events, and lets us invest in the future of the fair.”
Hailed as “the best little fair in Ontario,” this year’s theme was Chocolate 101 – An Acton a’Fair. The weekend celebration is packed with concerts, entertainment and agricultural events. Aside from a midway with carnival rides, the fair featured a heavy horse pull, 4H shows, horseshoe pitching, a parade, various animal shows, a baby show and an antique tractor pull among many other family-oriented events.
The Miss Acton Pageant, which began at the fair in 1963, took place on opening night. Their homecraft competition had entries in many categories, including baking, antiques, photography, wine, needlework, quilting, school work, plants and flowers, field crops, and canning and preserves. Musical performances included shows from The Gordon Lightfoot Tribute Band, local hip hop artist Chris Golden, and the Puslinch Fiddle Orchestra, a group of over 30 musicians “dedicated to the preservation of old tyme country fiddle music.”
Medland says that they promote the fair in several local papers, but “because it is an annual community event, word of mouth is probably our biggest method of advertising.” She also notes that “Haltonradio.com broadcasted from our event all weekend, and we had some of the local newspapers come out to photograph the event, too.”
Medland believes that even if your team of organizers are simply volunteering their time, you can still have a well-planned event that inspires a new generation. “We are organized and run by a group of volunteers, so there are always challenges,” she adds. “But, most of our members have been doing this for a long time, so things run fairly smooth. We have new volunteers now who are eager and are learning from the long time volunteers.”
What’s the key to organizing your community events?