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A sure sign of spring, annual farm show is always a big draw in Drayton

With the worst of winter hopefully behind us, it’s time to start thinking of spring and spring-like activities. One of those local events is the Drayton Farm Show, where farmers and residents alike can get an up close look at all kinds farm machinery, purchase some new equipment, or just enjoy the good food.

Drayton Farm Show Chairperson Kevin Van Loo, says the 34th annual show will see many repeat exhibitors, with some new ones coming onboard, too.

“There’s lots of variety of stuff in there,” Van Loo said. “There’s everything from agriculture to even [equipment for] town people to mow their lawns. Minor hockey runs the food booth for everybody to eat. It’s your everyday show.”

More than 100 exhibitors will fill the PMD Arena in Drayton for two days. Half of the admission price will go to cystic fibrosis research, a cause the Drayton Kinsmen Club has always supported.

“It’s our number-one sponsor and we just keep donating to them,” Van Loo said. “We give to other charities too. We give to diabetes, cancer society, just in different ways.”

They’ve shortened the show by an hour each day to make it less strenuous on the exhibitors. They’ll be opening at 11 a.m. instead of the usual 10 a.m. He said most of the exhibitors are pretty happy with the decision.

“If you sit there every day, which I did last year, most guys get there at 10 in the morning and then you’re there until 10 at night, that’s a long day,” Van Loo said. “We dropped it an hour on Thursday night plus the Kinsmen put on for all the exhibitors a dinner on Thursday night.”

All ages are welcome to the show and kids will even be able to climb on some of the machinery, he said. The Kinsmen started planning the show in January, but he says he was already receiving emails and calls about this show last June. And last year was certainly a record for them, in terms of attendance.

“Last year, I’ve never seen that many people,” Van Loo said. “Like 3,200 people walked through. If you look at last year’s winter everyone had cabin fever. I saw people last year they were there both days. They were just bored out of their mind.”

He said they usually average between 2,000 and 3,000 people. Some of the new exhibitors include companies selling insulation, furnaces, and horse fencing.

This year’s collectible toy tractor is a die-cast, 1/16 model of a four-wheel drive Case 1066 International. It will have a hand-painted engine, steps, and tire rim. It’s a cherry red and the original tractor was used in the early 1970s. It costs $105 and can be ordered on the Drayton Kinsmen website.

Van Loo’s been with the Kinsmen for about 10 years now. He said he joined because he thought it would be nice to help the community and he enjoyed the meetings.

“It’s like a guys’ night out,” Van Loo said. “You go out, raise some money, have some fun doing it, donate all the money, give back to the community.”

The show runs April 1 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and April 2 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $5.

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