Back in the day we had to wait till the end of summer to go for rides on the Twister, the Round Up, and the Scrambler. But ever since the Ottawa SuperEx was cancelled in 2010 you’ve had to go further afield for your late-summer midway and corn-dog fix.
You don’t need to drive to Toronto and go to the CNE though. Perth is still well within the ‘613’ and just an hour down Highway 7 the Perth Fair has been running for 173 years. Thats 22 years longer than Canada’s been around so they must be doing something right.
I spent a day discovering the Fair.
As a fall fair it certainly checked all the major boxes that I had in mind:
- Petting zoo
- Scary looking midway rides
- Drowsy looking farm animals
- Cellophaned pies, prize vegetables, and handicrafts from the local women’s institutes
- Food trailers selling all kinds of deep fried goodness
But there was more going on at the fair that I didn’t expect. A dog show. A goat show. A demolition derby. Zucchini car races.
Actually I missed the zucchini car races and had to Google them to find out what they really were. I was imagining bright green cars hurtling around a dirt track. It’s more a kid’s activity where they decorate a zucchini, put it on wheels and run it down an incline versus other veggie competitors. Think Mr Potato-Head does NASCAR and you’ll likely be pretty close.
And of course there were evening grandstand shows featuring local talent.
I wandered around in the hot sun and took in a tractor race, a horse show and a bull show.
At the bull show I sat in the bleachers next to the ring and as one particularly large bull was paraded in front of us an elderly lady sitting next to me said :
“That’s one nice bull.”
To which I confidently countered: “Sure is.”
Apparently livestock judging isn’t as hard as you might think.
As I left the fair grounds I realized that I had been prepared to be a little cynical about the Perth Fair. But I thoroughly enjoyed the agricultural goings-on there and will definitely be back. Maybe I’ll catch those zucchini car races next year.
If you’d like to take in a fall fair the season is really just starting. Check out other fairs in the Ottawa area: