Harrow Fair

Harrow Fair presented for 164th time

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A Labour Day weekend tradition continued in Harrow for the 164th time last weekend.

The Harrow Fair ran last Thursday through Sunday with such events as the pie auction, parade, 4-H Club competitions, the midway and more keeping people busy over the four days. Luke Korcok, the president of the Harrow Fair board, thanked not only the public for attending but the committee members and the volunteers for helping out.

“A lot of hours have been put in to make sure we have a successful festival,” said Korcok, adding preparations for the 2019 Harrow Fair are already underway.

Home craft director Rose McLean also thanked the volunteers as well as those who attended.

Sarah Parks waves to the crowd during the Harrow Fair Parade Sept. 1.

“If you people didn’t come out, there would be no reason to have the Harrow Fair,” she told the crowd at Thursday night’s opening ceremonies.

McLean added that roughly 6,000 volunteer hours were spent organizing the Harrow Fair.

“What a tradition – the Harrow Fair,” commented Essex Mayor Ron McDermott.

Essex MPP Taras Natyshak brings greetings during the opening ceremony of the Harrow Fair. The 164th annual fair runa from Aug. 30-Sept. 2.

McDermott, who is not seeking re-election this fall, said it has been his honour to represent his ratepayers as mayor for 15 years and welcome people to the fair.

“It’s been my honour and privilege to thank you for everything you’ve done with the Harrow Fair,” McDermott told organizers.

Warden Tom Bain said it is an event for the entire county to enjoy.

“I think if you are a good county person, you’ve got to go to the fair,” said Bain. “If you want to have fun, you go to the fair. It’s a great family event.”

A quartet of women take a ride during the Harrow Fair parade Sept. 1.

In addition to also thanking the volunteers, Essex MP Tracey Ramsey also thanked those who bid on pies in the pie auction, as all proceeds went to the John McGivney Centre in Windsor.

“I love coming to the fair. I’ve been coming to the fair my whole life,” said Ramsey. “It takes an army of people to make such an event successful.”

Ramsey pointed out the fair has been a multi-generational affair and one that helps promote the health of the community and bolster the economy.

“It’s a wonderful tradition,” added Essex MPP Taras Natyshak. “It kicks off the end of the summer.”

Harrow Fair presented for 163rd consecutive year

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A fair that is older than Canada itself was celebrated again this year.

The 163rd annual Harrow Fair was held last weekend with this year’s theme being “Scarecrows and Sunflowers.” Livestock showings, carnival rides, games, live music and, of course, the popular Harrow Fair parade highlighted the event.

“The Harrow Fair offers a place for friends and neighbours both rural and urban to gather. Some will come to view the displays and exhibits while others will experience the fun and satisfaction of participation,” said Brenda Anger, president of the Colchester South & Harrow Agricultural Society.

The Sun Parlour Pipes & Drums perform in Saturday’s Harrow Fair parade.

Richard Meloche, deputy mayor of Essex, brought greetings from the host municipality and recalled looking forward to attending the Harrow Fair when he grew up there as a kid.

“That was the talk of the summer,” said Meloche. “Everyone was talking about what was going to happen at the Harrow Fair.”

Meloche believed the Harrow Fair “is more of a county fair” and that past, present and future volunteers deserve credit for its annual successes.

“We want this fair to go on for years and years and years,” he said.

Warden Tom Bain clowns around with a scarecrow during the opening ceremonies of the 163rd Harrow Fair.

Warden Tom Bain also pointed out it was a family event, noting members of his family joined him at the fair.

“When we come to a fair, we come as a family,” said Bain. “There’s something to do for everyone. Every year, rain or shine, the Harrow Fair is a success.”

Essex MPP Taras Natyshak brought greetings from both himself and his NDP colleague, Essex MP Tracey Ramsey, and also thanked the many volunteers that help present the fair every year.

Libro Credit Union’s Harrow branch made a $2,500 donation towards a shade shelter at the fairgrounds while $13,510 was raised for the John McGivney Centre through the pie auction.

Local student and her cattle accumulate accomplishments

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A ten-year passion for cattle raising and showing is paying off for a local teenager.

Jackie Wismer, 18, has been accumulating accomplishments in cattle showing competitions and it has become a potential career path for her as well.

“I travel all over Ontario,” said Wismer, currently a student at General Amherst High School. “I’ve shown in Ontario, Alberta and will be going to Manitoba for a junior show.”

Eighteen-year-old Jackie Wismer shows some of the awards she has achieved over the past year or so.

Eighteen-year-old Jackie Wismer shows some of the awards she has achieved over the past year or so.

Wismer started when she was eight-years-old and showed exclusively at the Comber Fair and the Harrow Fair for the first two years. When she was ten-years-old, Wismer joined the 4-H Beef Club, which allows youth to take a young calf and learn how to raise it, feed it and get it ready for either market or for breeding.

Showing her cattle takes more than just bringing the cattle out on competition dates, with Wismer noting many hours are devoted to working with the cattle.

“On average, I will spend three to four hours per day during the school year in the barn working with the show cattle and feeding the other cattle in the barn,” she said.

That expands to five or six hours during the summer, she added.

When a show nears, preparation includes daily washes, treating and combing out their hair to grow it out as much as possible for the show ring and clipping the hair to accentuate the cattle’s good points.

Between March and November, Wismer said she takes part in 12 shows. Those include smaller shows as well as larger ones, including the London Expo, the Youth Forum in Markham and the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto.

Wismer competes in the intermediate division and among the awards she has compiled over the past year includes being the Reserve Champion Intermediate Showman at both the London Expo and the Youth Forum and was the overall Grand Champion Showman at the Harrow Fair and the Rodney Fair. Wismer was also the Junior Limousin Overall Grand Champion Showman at the Royal Winter Fair.

Jackie Wismer shows one of the heifers that has netted her several awards.

Jackie Wismer shows one of the heifers that has netted her several awards.

In the Confirmation competition, which is judged 75 per cent by her heifer and 25 per cent by her ability to show the heifer, she captured the award for Grand Champion Limousin heifer at the Youth Forum in Markham, the Reserve Champion heifer at the Harrow Fair and the Supreme Champion Female at the Junior Limousin show at the Royal Winter Fair. “It feels good,” she said, of her awards.

“She’s gotten better and better and better,” added her mother Betsy. “This has really been her year. This is a lot of hard work.”

Wismer has also held positions on the Canadian National Limousin Board, the Ontario board and has held executive positions in the 4-H Beef Club. She is also the 2017 Ontario Limousin Queen.

“I’m the ambassador to the Ontario Limousin Association,” she said.

While at home, she juggles her priorities between school, work, sports and her work on the farm. She said being around the cattle is relaxing for her and she enjoys working with the heifers and their various personalities.

“”I just love being around the cattle,” she said. “I just really enjoy it. It’s really therapeutic.”

Wismer said this is what she wants to do with her life and she plans on pursuing her post-secondary education at Lakeland College in Vermilion, Alberta and will further study agri-business and livestock production.

Harrow Fair celebrates 162nd year

 

By Ron Giofu

 

An annual Labour Day weekend tradition that has lasted for over a century-and-a-half continued again this year.

The 162nd annual Harrow Fair opened last Thursday night and ran through Sunday at the fairgrounds with thousands streaming through to enjoy the 4-H Club shows, carnival, entertainment, pie auction and variety of events that were part of the weekend. The parade also was popular again this year with it taking a new route Saturday morning.

Essex MPP Taras Natyshak and Essex MP Tracey Ramsey march in the Harrow Fair parade.

Essex MPP Taras Natyshak and Essex MP Tracey Ramsey march in the Harrow Fair parade.

Brenda Anger, president of the Harrow Fair, said during Thursday night’s opening ceremony that agriculture was “on display” at the fair. She said it brings both rural and urban neighbours together for the weekend.

A horse-and-buggy makes its way down the parade route Saturday morning.

A horse-and-buggy makes its way down the parade route Saturday morning.

There were nine 4-H Clubs involved, Anger added, and also pointed out the addition of a new shade structure that was over the bleachers near the 4-H demonstrations.

Local politicians were on hand to offer best wishes. Essex Mayor Ron McDermott thanked the organizers for keeping up the agricultural tradition, something echoed by Essex MP Tracey Ramsey.

“We are so fortunate to live in this strong agricultural area,” said Ramsey. “I’m very proud of our region.”

Jack Morris was one of the auctioneers presiding over the pie auction last Thursday night at the Harrow Fair.

Jack Morris was one of the auctioneers presiding over the pie auction last Thursday night at the Harrow Fair.

Warden Tom Bain said the Harrow Fair is a “great family event,” pointing out that a few generations of his family attended.

“There’s something for everybody here,” said Bain.

Bain, also the mayor of Lakeshore, thanked the committee as well.

“You do a great job.”

Harrow Fair held for 161st consecutive year

 

Firehorse Leadership Organization and Sarah Parks Horsemanship, both from Amherstburg, took part in the Harrow Fair parade Sept. 5.

Firehorse Leadership Organization and Sarah Parks Horsemanship, both from Amherstburg, took part in the Harrow Fair parade Sept. 5.

By Ron Giofu

 

Agriculture mixed with entertainment, a parade, carnival rides and, of course, the annual pie auction at the 161st annual Harrow Fair held Labour Day weekend.

The fair opened in very wet conditions, with pouring rain forcing opening ceremonies to be moved inside of the Harrow & Colchester South Agricultural Building. Dignitaries and fair officials delivered their remarks via the loudspeaker on an OPP cruiser that was brought indoors through a large garage door.

A number of pies and baked goods were on display after judging last Thursday night, Sept. 4.

A number of pies and baked goods were on display after judging last Thursday night, Sept. 4.

Essex MP Jeff Watson said the fair maintains rural values and traditions, and praised the volunteer efforts that put it together.

“It takes a lot of volunteers to make this one of the best summer events possible,” said Watson. “What is summer without the Harrow Fair? They are synonymous with one another. My kids look forward to it every year.”

Essex MPP Taras Natyshak acknowledged one of the opening night traditions – the pie auction. Natyshak pointed out the proceeds benefit the John McGivney Centre in Windsor, a centre that – according to its website – provides rehabilitative services and enriches the lives of children and youth with disabilities and special needs by helping them reach their full potential. Natyshak noted the funding challenges the John McGivney Centre faced this year and noted the community has rallied to preserve programming.

The pie auction saw Mary Korcok’s cherry pie fetch $2,200, with that being the first place entry. Helen Klomis’ peach cream pie was auctioned for $400 while Janette Lawton’s apple pie went for $225.

The Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Museum was represented in the Sept. 5 parade.

The Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Museum was represented in the Sept. 5 parade.

The Harrow Fair is a “celebration of community and history,” the MPP added, and wished farmers “a safe and bountiful harvest.”

Essex Mayor Ron McDermott thanked those involved, with Harrow & Colchester South Agricultural Society president Bev Pillon doing similar. Pillon thanked the public for attending, even when it rained, and others for helping to plan the event this year.

Warden Tom Bain compared the volunteers and board members to the Energizer bunny.

“They just keep going and going,” said Bain.

The fair featured 4-H Club competitions, rooster calling contests, a “roller pigeon” contest, and lawn tractor races as part of the weekend’s full list of activities. The rain held off for Saturday’s parade, which featured federal candidates Watson, Liberal Audrey Festeryga and New Democrat Tracey Ramsey, the latter teaming with Natyshak.