Thanksgiving weekend 2012 marked the 162nd annual Erin Fall Fair. Hosted by the Erin Agricultural Society, this fair is one of the oldest in Ontario and has been part of my Thanksgiving weekend since I was a baby.
In case you are not aware, the small and growing Town of Erin is located about 45 minutes North-West of Toronto on Hwy 24 and is bordered by Guelph, Halton Hils and Caledon. It is quaint and beautiful and I lived within a 10 minute drive of downtown until I spread my wings and moved out when I was 18. However, every year for birthdays, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas I travel home to be with family and friends in this great little town. This Thanksgiving was no different.
With the 40lb turkey roasting in the oven (and dad sleeping in his chair) my mom, my 3 brothers, their girlfriends, my hubby, my brother’s new puppy and I loaded into our cars and headed to the fairgrounds. Driving to the fair this year was incredibly nostalgic – I have so many funny memories from when I was younger and love that my family and I are still so close as to continue to make more.
Here are two of my favourite memories from the past:
I started (and stopped) dating my first boyfriend at the Erin Fall Fair. I was 10 and he told me that he liked me and asked me to be his girlfriend. I said yes. Then, I headed to the midway with my best friend and he headed to the tractor pull with his. When we met back at the bleachers an hour later we hugged, held hands and then decided the relationship wasn’t going to work. Don’t worry, we both agreed it was fantastic while it lasted.
And … moving to high school …
I fostered life-long friendships at the fair – during my first year of high school I met a group of amazing girls (now women) and we had our first Gr. 9 sleep-over on Thanksgiving weekend. We got dressed up (the way that only 14 year old girls can), walked downtown to the fair and spent the night eating cotton candy, riding the midway and flirting with boys. Ten years after that Gr. 9 sleep-over, three (3) of these wonderful ladies stood beside me as I married my husband – love you girls!
Alongside these memories, the Erin Fall Fair is one of the most diverse fairs I have ever been to and here are just some of the many bits and pieces that I love:
- The Horse Shows – I do not ride horses but I love watching these beautiful animals and their riders
- The Midway – You’d think the same rides year after year would get old but for me they do not; my favourite is the Scrambler!
- The Tractor Pull & Demo Derby – I do not always get to see the Demo Derby each year but it is a TON of fun. I love watching the little boys jumping up and down as their dads smile with pride.
- The Agricultural Barn – I like looking at all of the crafts, baking, quilts, food, paintings and other goodies that people submit into the fair contests.
- The Exhibitors – Unfortunately the number of exhibitors has decreased over the years (because the fire in the original agricultural building) but my favourite vendors are the alpaca farms with their so soft scarves and mittens (I love mittens!) and that one booth with the 1800 thread count sheets for $20 (for real!)
- The Food Trucks – Fries, funnel cakes, candy apples, lemonade, pulled pork, honey, fudge, baking … *sigh* I love the food!
- Pageants & Shows – From the baby tractor pull to the crowning of the queen of the fair, the shows are a lot of fun to watch.
If you have not ever been to the Erin Fall Fair, my thoughts are that you should put it on your calendar for next year. Better yet, find out when your local fall fair is happening and go, get to know the people in your community and feel proud of where you live! I have never been to a fall fair that I did not enjoy – open yourself up to sights and smells and especially the local pride and there is not any chance that you’ll leave feeling anything less than fantastic!