Vermilion Agricultural Society President, Jay Sinclair. Photo Lorna Hamilton.
The 111th Vermilion Fair ran from July 27 - 29 and according to Vermilion Ag Society president Jay Sinclair it was another successful Fair even with the price increase for gate passes which hasn't increased since 1982.
"The gate pass did increase this year from $5 per day to $10, and the three-day gate pass increased to $20, but it didn't seem to affect our attendance, it was what we expected," said Sinclair.
As with any fair, volunteers are needed to help make the fair a success, and according to Sinclair, the number of volunteers they had was good.
"There are always volunteer opportunities, but we were good this year. It always gets done, we work together, and sometimes we work late, or someone jumps from one committee to help another committee; but like I said there are always volunteer opportunities during the Fair and we welcome anyone who wants to volunteer," added Sinclair.
In previous years The Vermilion Fair offered a wide array of events, shows, and displays, but this year the Ag Society also added new shows, events and food vendors to the Fair lineup.
"This year we had the Knights of the Northern Realm, the breed display show featuring pigs, sheep, long horned steers and different horses as well as Route 60 which is a new food vendor," added Sinclair.
The heavy draft horse numbers were also up during this year's Fair and exceeded the number of heavy draft horses within the last 10 years.
"We had over 100 heavy draft horses, and of the five - six horse hitches, four of them placed in the Calgary Stampede," said Sinclair.
Other attractions to the Vermilion Fair which is always a hit with attendees besides the chuckwagon and chariot races are the exhibit halls, trade show, and the Old MacDonald's barn.
"The exhibit halls are always a big attraction. There are some very talented people in this world. The trade show was full, and they want to come here, so that is always a good thing.
The chicks hatching is always a good draw for the children; they flock to it to see them. The petting zoo at the Old MacDonald's barn is another hit with the children as well. This year we had bunnies with new born babies, goats, ducks, kittens and a little pony. We didn't have puppies this year," said Sinclair.
Sinclair also added there were a lot of raffles available this year.
"We had two raffles from Dewberry, the Marwayne Ag Society, the Lions, Vermilion Minor hockey and of course the Rotary holds one every year," said Sinclair.
According to Sinclair the attendance at the beer gardens was very good, and the crowd attending it had been very respectful.
"Something different this year is we also licensed one of the bleachers on the east end of the chuckwagons and at the antique tractors," said Sinclair.
When asked what Sinclair thinks makes the Vermilion Fair a success each year he said,"I think it is the old fashioned feel and the variety of things offered. Our gate pass is affordable, and people who come here can see a lot for the value. We have nightly entertainment at the grandstand and the beer gardens. The Vermilion Fair also has a machinery display and I have never been to another fair that has one; I think that is also a huge draw to the fair.
People who come here from out of town say they can see everything from the petting zoo to chuckwagons to machinery displays and go to the trade show all for one price and we are very proud to keep it that way."
Sinclair would like to thank all the volunteers and everyone who made the Fair such a success.