Come to the Fair
New General Manager looks to make Markham Fair bigger, better and more multi-cultural.
The Markham Fair has maintained its traditional agricultural roots throughout its 173 year history while opening itself up to the changing times as well.
By Hannelore Volpe
Markham Fair, with its down-home charm and exciting events, is the place to be this weekend.
From September 28 to October 1, the Markham Fairgrounds at McCowan Road and Elgin Mills Road just south of town will be alive with attractions meshing yesterday’s Fair traditions with today’s action oriented events and entertainment. Whether it’s sunny, cloudy or puddle-hopping weather, the Markham Fair has retained the same magic or 173 years. It keeps true to its roots as an agricultural fair, with demonstrations and competitions in everything from vegetables to cattle, pumpkin pies to quilts. But it has grown with the times to include events like the demolition derby, rodeo, truck and tractor pulls and a wide variety of entertainment. Growing the Fair “bigger and better,” is the aim of new General Manager Tom Jones. Previously, Mr. Jones was the facility co-ordinator for the Markham Pan Am Centre. After the Pan Am Games were over, he helped in transitioning the site to a city-owned and operated building. With the Markham Fair having always been such an important part of his family’s life, Mr. Jones would like to see more of the community’s various cultural groups become an integral part of this yearly event. “We have many events from many different cultures throughout the year at the fairgrounds,” he noted. For many families the Markham Fair experience – whatever the weather – has included visiting Old MacDonald’s Farm, eating beaver tails, and watching the sheep-shearing, complete with authentic Australian accent (the shearer, not the sheep). And don’t forget dance theatre Motus O’s performance, From Hand to Plow, which shows the development of labour-saving farm tools over the ages via song, dance, flashy costumes and funky creativity.
The four days of the fair give you a chance to go eyeball-to-eyeball
with your favourite farm animals from giant draft horses to tiny
ducklings. Make sure to see the amazing variety of chickens, all
clucking a different tune, competing for winning rosettes and ribbons.
There are gymnastics demonstrations, cooking contests, and performances by
numerous bands and musicians. The kids can have their photos taken
with Chase and Marshall of Paw Patrol from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday on Horse Drive.
The entertainment hits its peak Saturday night at 8 p.m. when Canadian country music sensations the James Barker Band take to the stage in the Crow’s Corral, with Leah Daniels opening the show. This Ontario-based quartet consisting of James Barker, Taylor Abram, Connor Stephen, and Bobby Martin have already picked up five nominations from the Canadian Country Music Association. They also won the Music of Ontario Award this year, and are the first Canadian country music band to reach No. 1 on Canadian country radio from a debut album. Leah Daniels is a country music singer/songwriter who grew up on a small farm in Uxbridge, Ont. She was introduced to country music as a young child by her grandfather. New fans and awards have come her way this year since the release of her debut album, ‘What It Feels Like’ and her Top 20 single, ‘Go Back’.
This year’s fair president is Darren Kent Little, from a long-time local farming family. Check out the Markham Fair website at markhamfair.ca for more information or phone 905-642-3247.