Above, Chesterville and District Agricultural Society President Carol Johnson and Vice-President Ann Vanderlind ride in the new show ring at the official opening of the 2019 Chesterville Fair.
As we began this new year, 2020, we all were looking forward to so many things. Birthdays. Births. Weddings. Anniversaries. Getting together with friends and participating in many of the activities that celebrate our communities which included our Fair Season.
After attending the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies convention in February, members of the Board of the Chesterville and District Agricultural Society were pumped to be making plans for the upcoming Chesterville Fair. And then IT happened. Coronavirus, COVID-19.
Everything ground to a halt. What we considered to be normal is now a thing of the past, and we have had to learn a new normal. We are very fortunate in that we have not had the outbreaks in our community as there have been in other areas of the province. By following the guidelines of the provincial government and our health unit we should be able to keep it that way.
Last Friday, August 28th, 2020, would have marked the opening of our Chesterville Fair. But like many other events in the province, the Board collectively chose to not hold a Fair this year. The safety of our community, and everyone involved with putting on an event such as this is important to us. For many, some of our fondest memories were made at the Fair. So many things will be missed — the engine roars and the smell of diesel exhaust from the truck pulls; the smells of the foods being prepared; the culmination of the work of so many on display in the Exhibit Hall; the agricultural and horticultural exhibits: the livestock; but most importantly, the PEOPLE.
We cannot say how things will progress from here. No one can tell us what the rules will be two months from now or even six months from now. Since we are unable to gather this weekend, I would like to encourage you to share some of your best memories of the past Chesterville Fairs. I am sure there are many of you that have the ‘fair bug’ coursing through your veins. For me, the Fair was a big part of my childhood as both of my parents became involved shortly after we moved here.
Through all the turmoil, we remain a strong community and we are proud to be a part of it. We are counting the days to when we can once again gather and share our love of agriculture and rural life. We miss you.
Be Safe. Be Healthy. Be Happy
Carol Johnson, President
Chesterville and District Agricultural Society