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The fair season gets rolling next weekend in Drayton

Drayton Fair organizers would love to see all this sunshine stick around for the 160th Drayton Fair which opens for another weekend of traditional family fun next weekend with new events and old favourites like the demolition derby and the truck and tractor pulls.

The local truck and tractor pull kicks off the fair on Aug. 5 at 6:30 p.m.

Natalie Green, Drayton Mapleton Agricultural Society secretary, says they tried adding log sawing to the fair last year, but it didn’t go over well, likely due to people not knowing about it. But the excavator games, also added in recent years, is a hit.

“It does really well. Even the mayor gets involved. We’re doing that again this year,” she said.

The heavy horse show is starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, which will be followed by something new, a reining demonstration by Martin Ranch – Chets’ Custom Colts.

“It was offered to us. I do believe it was someone on the fair board knew of this gentleman and we decided to have another horse demonstration. This year we’re not having the miniature horse show on Sunday, so we’re always trying to find new ideas to bring people in to check out the fair,” she said.

The miniature horse show cost the fair a lot of money to bring them in, but it wasn’t bringing in a lot of money to the fair, so they decided to not include it this year. They had to cut the garden tractor pull because they didn’t have the scale for the tractors to pull.

Also new this year on Friday is Euchre sponsored by the Drayton Legion. Admission is included in the admission price at the fair gates.

“As with most fairs, volunteers and help gets more and more scarce every year, so it makes it harder to bring in more activities without having people to run it. So that’s been an ongoing thing, I think for everybody though. So it’s getting harder to expand with less people. We keep trying to tell especially in our community if you want something bigger you need to come out and participate and help us out,” she said.

In an effort to increase community involvement they’re doing a storefront window decorating contest and a front lawn decorating contest for local residents. It’s being sponsored by mayor Neil Driscoll.

To participate you can email draytonfair@hotmail.com to let them know the location and they’ll submit them to the judging committee.

On Saturday at 11:30 a.m. there’s the goat show, and then the dairy cattle show at 12 p.m.

At 1 p.m. they’ll have Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo on site to entertain the kids, along with bouncy castles from 12-5 p.m.  You can check out at pet show at 2 p.m. and then at 4 p.m. there’s the baby show.

“This year for the kids we are bringing in bouncy castles, not just regular ones. We have a jousting, an obstacle course and a regular bouncer. And then on Sunday right now we have a special guest coming for the kids. We’re not disclosing what it is, but it’s going to be a surprise,” she said.

She said the special guest will appeal to little kids.

The Ontario Truck and Tractor Pulling Association (OTTPA) Truck and Tractor Pull is the Saturday night at 6:30 p.m.

Visitors can get their fill of smashing, crashing cars on Sunday at 2 p.m. for the demolition derby. Come early to participate in the excavator games on Sunday at 11 a.m., followed by the beef cattle show at 12 p.m. and the sheep show at 12:30 p.m.

And as always they’ll have the antique tractor display all day throughout the weekend, which she says tends to be quite popular.

“Come experience a small town fair with a lot of heart, a lot of years of dedication 160 years of dedication to showing the community a good time,” she said.

The Drayton Fair runs Aug. 5-7 at the Drayton Fairgrounds. The gates open at 5 p.m. on Friday and at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For a full schedule, visit www.draytonfair.com.

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