Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The Queens County Fair is celebrating its 140th anniversary this year. Although the pandemic will insure it will be different than previous years, organizers are still promising an exciting celebration.
Instead of the normal week of exhibition activities, the fairground will host two separate weekends of competition – including an ox pull September 18 to 19 and a horse pull competition September 25 to 26.
During the second weekend, fair goers will be kicking up their heels to a variety of musical performances.
The fairground manager, Doreen Holdright, said she's eager for the activities to begin.
"We're pretty happy we're finally able to do something," she said. "Our ox pull filled up pretty quickly and we are very happy with the number of horses we have competing, because, normally, we can't house that many during our fair."
Holdright noted this will be the only exhibition-sponsored event of the year in the area, although there have been some private events that have taken place.
The limit on both weekends is 50 teamsters and 200 others on the grounds at one time.
As of September 9, a total of 27 pairs of horses and two single horses were booked to compete. Horses must compete on both days.
At the time of writing, there was still room for more horse competitors, and those interested in registering are advised to call Carolyn Tufts at 902-526-2828.
The ox competition is full and for this event teams can compete in just one or both days.
Along with the competitions, a roster of musical performers are lined up for the September 25 to 26 weekend. The band, Top Notch, kicks off at 7 p.m., followed by Route 12 at 9 p.m.
The second day will feature a music jam starting at noon with Wanda Carver and James Britain, Autumn Carver, Kerri Fullerton and Zachary and Friends. The Salt Water Cowboys will take to the stage at 6 p.m. to wrap things up.
According to Holdright, organizers have planned something extra special to recognize the 140th anniversary during the two weekends of competition.
The organizers learned near the end of July that it would be possible to hold the event and were required to devise a health safety plan for approval by mid-August.
Holdright confirmed they are ready to host the event and maintain the protocols set out by Health Canada and that people should feel comfortable in attending.
Due to health regulations, only those who are competitors or workers will be allowed to camp on the grounds.
Holdright recognized the hard work volunteers did to get the premises ready for the event, and was grateful for the grant Heritage Canada gave to help cover costs associated with bringing in the music and the cleaning supplies.