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Local Ontario agricultural society continues longstanding tradition

206 years later, three-day fair still running strong

By Kaitlynn Anderson

Farms.com

Canada’s oldest annual fair is celebrating its 206th year from August 11 to 13.

Williamstown Fair

“We started out as a street fair where there were competitions and bartering of goods,” says Beverly Runions, secretary and treasurer of the Williamstown Fair.

“When the land was deeded to the Agricultural Society, the fair moved to it’s present site.”

Centuries later, between 15,000 and 18,000 people attend the fair annually.

The Williamstown Fair has a wide range of features this year, including: a petting zoo, livestock shows, Farmer Olympics, a sugar shanty, an antique and classic car show, a midway and musical entertainment.

If you’re thinking of heading to this eastern Ontario fair, consider entering into one of the exhibit classes. People of all ages and interests can find a category to enter.

“All classes are showcasing something about Canada’s 150th this year,” says Runions.

There’s even a maple syrup division.

If delicious food sounds more appealing to you, the Glengarry Federation of Agriculture hosts a free Corn Roast on the Saturday night of the fair. Each year, the federation cooks about 120 to 150 dozen cobs of corn.

Admission to the fair is $12 per day or a weekend pass can be purchased for $20 before August 1. After that date, the price rises to $25. Parking is free and the Agricultural Society offers courtesy carts to assist fairgoers in getting from the parking lot to the grounds.

“My opinion is that the Williamstown Fair is the jewel of Eastern Ontario,” says Runions.

“It’s a real homecoming for a lot of people.”


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