Big smiles conclude Avonmore Fair

A member of the Canadian Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team pauses and smiles during the final performance, July 17.

Nelson Zandbergen
Nation Valley News

AVONMORE — The Avonmore Fair came to a colourful conclusion late Sunday afternoon, with the Canadian Cowgirls Precision Drill Team riding out of the ring to strains of “Happy Trails.”

While organizers have not yet released attendance figures for the weekend, the Fair saw its share of fine weather. Spirits were not dampened by bouts of rain on Friday evening. Far from it, acknowledged North Stormont Councillor Jim Wert, who pointed out that farmers needed the precipitation.

Wert — speaking on behalf of Mayor Dennis Fife at the official opening — linked the Fair’s continued success to local volunteers, highlighting the previous achievement of last September’s International Plowing Match, “probably one of the best events hosted in Ontario. It really fundamentally comes back to the volunteers.”

“I’d like to congratulate those volunteers. I think they’ve done a tremendous job … in furthering what they can contribute to a great rural Ontario.”

Above, the Canadian Cowgirls Precision Drill Team completed their final show of the Fair by including a special horsewoman (at the start of the clip) who rides with physical challenges sustained in a car crash. (The vehicle collided with a moose.) The video concludes with the squad reprising a Rose Bowl Parade routine, followed by their “Happy Trails” denouement.
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Avonmore Fair featured a variety of competitions, including those of the agricultural and homecraft variety that have been its calling card for the past 156 years.

The ever-popular baby show also garnered no shortage of little ones vying for such distinctions as rosiest cheeks and biggest smile. In the infant category (up to 6 months of age), the standings included: (youngest) 1st – Célyna-Joël of St. Albert, 2nd – Hazel Verkwylent of Avommore, 3rd – Lillian Scheepers of Chesterville; (best look alike) 1st – Lillian Scheepers, 2nd – Célyna-Joël, 3rd – Lucas MacDonald of Ingleside; (rosiest cheeks) 1st – Hazel Verkwylent, 2nd Célyna-Joël, 3rd Lillian Scheepers; (chubbiest) 1st – Lucas MacDonald, 2nd – Célyna-Joël, 3rd – Hazel Verkwylent; (biggest smile) 1st – Lillian Scheepers, 2nd – Hazel Verkwylent, 3rd – Lucas MacDonald.

In the 12- to 18-month age category in the baby show at the 2016 Avonmore Fair, Livia Boucher, 1, captured the first prize ribbon for curliest hair in her age category, July 16.

Within the 12- to 18-month age baby show category at the 2016 Avonmore Fair, Livia Boucher, 1, captured the first prize ribbon for curliest hair in her age category, July 16.

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Competitors in the 6- to 12-month-old category at the Avonmore Fair included (from left) Gia Gauthier, 9 mos. (and mom Sara Pynenburg); Kan Pynenburg, 8 mos. (Sara Pynenburg); Levi, 7 mos. (Krystal Brouillet); Sadie Bray, 11 mos. (Lindsay Bray); Adalynn, 8 mos. (Sascha de Wit); and Bentley, 11 mos. (Candace Zylak). Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

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Baby show judge Linda Bingley (left) interacts with smiley Matéo Tyrell, 15 ½ mos., who is held by his mother, Josée Gagné of Cornwall. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

Above, Avonmore Fair Baby Show judges Eileen Howard, Linda Bingley and Donna Webb check out the ages 6-to-12-months class. Stormont County Queen of the Furrow Alyssa Waldroff then assists with handing out prizes.
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The 4-H dairy and beef rallies kept the livestock show ring busy. Youth in white uniforms led their animals in front of the judges. Prescott County’s Megan Gut and Cassie Allen placed as the respective Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion dairy showman, with Tamara Hamilton of Russell County getting the Honourable Mention. Grand Champion Beef showman honours went to Stormont County’s Ethan Stone, while Dundas County’s Holly Sommerville came in as Reserve Champion.

The conformation classes included: Holstein (Grand Champion, Calahan Bilmer, Dundas County; Reserve Grand Champion, Mikayla Verspeek, Dundas County); Jersey (Grand Champion, Aimee VanLoon, Stormont; Reserve Champion Vicki Brisson, Russell; and Honorable Mention, Bobby Robinson, Stormont); Ayrshire (Grand Champion, Graceson Bergeron, Russell; Reserve Champion, Patrick Daoust, Stormont; Honorable Mention, Emma Guichet, Stormont) and Interbreed Dairy Heifer (Grand Champion, Calahan Bilmer, Dundas; Reserve Grand Champion, Aimee VanLoon, Stormont; Honorable Mention, Vicki Brisson, Russell).

Twin sisters Kelly and Holly Summerville respectively captured the Grand Champion and Reserve Champion beef prizes, for the animals they displayed.

In the dairy tie-stall competition, the Stormont, Dundas and Russell 4-H clubs earned respective 1st, 2nd and 3rd. On the beef side, Stormont topped the tie-stall category. In descending order, club recognition for the best group of three dairy heifers went to Stormont, Dundas, Prescott, Russell, and Glengarry.

Above, one of the junior-level heats in the 4-H dairy calf rally at the Avonmore Fair.

The homecraft building was chuck full of pies, preserves, embroidery and other displays of domestic and agricultural craftmanship. The top exhibitors included: Forage, Threeloos Farms; Grain, Wendy Trenholm; Forage and Grain, Threeloos Farms; Vegetables, Anna Robinson; Cut Flowers, Christena Dunbar; Flower Arrangments and Potted Plants, Christena Dunbar; Baking, Cindy Gorrie; Adult and Children’s Wear, Lucy Mulders; Three entries in Vegetables, Culinary, Flowers and Homecraft, Anna Robinson; Photography, Ken Holland; Art Show, Shayla Fraser; age 3 or younger, Alyssa Mainville; age 4 to 5 years, Gavin MacLeod; age 6 to 8 years, Danika Canham; age 9 to 12 years, Brooklyn Canham; teens, Heidi McIntyre.

Below, a gallery of images from the 2016 Fair.

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