This past long weekend we went to theFall Fair in Paris, ON. The midway and vendors have grown in number from previous years, but for me the fall fair is mostly about the animals and crafts. There's competitions to enter in almost anything you can imagine.
Food, produce, flowers, crafts, art, photography, 3 horse shows, dog show, and anything you could think of in between as well as the usual Fall Fair food, grandstand shows, high dives, wild birds of prey shows and helicopter rides.
There were a lot of years the I rode the Central Ontario exhibition show on the Friday in Kitchener, the western show on the Saturday in Paris, and the AQHA show both western and english on the Sunday at this venue. Labour Day long weekends before school started for me were the beginning of the fall show season, much appreciated after having shown the horses in the blazing heat of summer. I miss those days, we don't show our horses anymore, but the competitive nature I have rears it's head every time I see someone in show clothes on their horse. They are fond and wonderful memories.
Now that the kids are older we wander the midway and carnival sections, but don't play along. The kids loved the rides back when, now they aren't interested.
We're more keen on stuff like this (even though we have most of it at home anyway):
Sweet, doe-eyed Jersey cows and calvesBut we do have horses, this mare was patiently waiting in a rented fair stall.
I wish I could show you more, there was a lot of interesting things to see... but at this point the battery died in my digital camera. There were sheep shearing demonstrations, how to process the fleece, sign ups for classes and vending of sheep sheering, breeding, fleece, raising, you name it stuff to do with their fibre. Two women were spinning the whole 5 days of the fair. One woman in today's clothing fashion was spinning on an oak Lendrum with a double treadle, just like my maple one. The woman beside her was in traditional garb spinning on a walking wheel doing 6 - 7 feet of long draw and then working it back on to the spindle, turning the giant wheel with her hand. It was fascinating to watch and made me really appreciate my treadle wheel.
Our Canadian military was there, a full dress marching band to lead them in the parade, multiple live Canadian performances on the Grand stand and plenty of Carnival and midway noise, lights and midway food.
There were few quilts and needle crafts ~ far fewer than previous years. Needle point, cross stitch, sewing and quilting were all present, but in small numbers and all behind glass or wire fence panels. It seemed a bit sad that the wares had to be behind glass away from dirty fingers, thieving hands and locked up behind cages to not escape... well, really be lifted and stolen. I guess it was just another sign on how times are changing and people have little respect for other people's property.
We spend a good while wandering around the giant tractors, combines, loaders and other various farm equipment, wishing for the day we could afford some of it for the farm we don't live on or have yet. We picked up lottery numbers just in case... someone usually wins the jackpot, why not us? lol
Fall always leaves me restless and wishful. It's my favourite time of the year and every September I find myself wishing we could move. It's not that we don't live in a nice house - but the country calls us back so strongly. 2 farm kids raising our 2 kids in the city makes us shake our heads ~ because if someone had told us that at our 21st wedding anniversary (tomorrow, how did the time go so fast?) we'd still be living in the concrete jungle of the city we wouldn't have believed it... very big sigh...
Ryan started College today. Nicole's started 10th grade. I'm proud of them both and thrilled with the people they're becoming, but a little sad too that my babies aren't babies anymore. Seems just yesterday I was taking their pictures for their first day of school and that was Kindergarten. For us summer ends with the Labour Day Weekend. This year it's extremely late with where the first Monday falls on the calendar, and even though fall doesn't officially start until later this month, for us today is the first day of fall.