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Drayton’s 162nd fair gets the season in gear with a bevy of offerings this weekend


The 162nd annual Drayton Fair will be kicking off this weekend starting on August 10 with a little something for everyone. The fair will feature a variety of vibrant activities, including a truck and tractor pull, animal shows and horticultural competitions.

The Drayton Mapleton Agricultural Society likes to switch up the theme each year. Following last year’s Canada 150, the 2018 theme is “Best Pickin’ in Mapleton.”

“I’ve been going for a few years now,” said Paula O’Donnell, a resident of Elora. “I enter a lot of crocheted items in the fair. I also have three kids that love to make things to enter. My kids love the bouncy castles! The demo derby is always fun to watch… and this year for the first time they’ve added a kids power wheels derby before the real derby – my older two are excited to be in it.”

There are several competitions taking place at the fair, including the best quilt for both hand and machine made quilts, horticulture for best flowers, a pie eating contest, and a culinary craft competition. There will be cash prizes for the first, second and third place winners, with the amount varying depending on the competition.

“We also have a horse show,” added Amy Hennessy, secretary of the Drayton Mapleton Agricultural Society. “Our horse show is pretty good in the area; we get good compliments on our horse show. We also have a dairy show, and a beef show, and sheep. So considering small-town fairs, the livestock is very representative. This year, we also have a dog show – it’s going to be on Sunday – called Diamonds in the Ruff.”

There are plenty of examples of livestock competitions throughout the weekend, including a goat show.

“They look at the overall frame, they look at the way an animal is built, legs, ribs, etc.,” said Hennessy, on how the animals are judged in the event. “Overall, their breed characteristics. Their back is very important. Healthy ears and feet, like everything. It’s kind of like a Miss America Pageant. They want to find the perfect animal. They’re just looking at the animal; there’s just no speeches or impromptu questions.”

Not only do they have livestock competitions, but there is even a baby show for children 0-12 months of age. There will be an event there for just about anyone of any age group or specific interest. One of their most popular events is the truck/tractor pull.

“This will be my second year going,” said Jesse Sandbrook, a Grand Valley resident. “And I’m sort of biased [of my favourite activity] since we are running the demolition derby this year!”

The fair season will be present throughout August, with the Hanover Fair starting on the same day, as well as the Mount Forest Fall Fair and Woodstock Fair in the upcoming weeks.

The Drayton Fair is set to take place at 49 Elm St. in Drayton and will run from August 10-12. Admission is $15 on Friday, $10 on Saturday and $15 after 5 p.m. On Sunday, it will cost $15 all day. For kids ages 6-12, admission costs $5. For children under 6, access is free. Alternatively, adults can pay $30 for an entire weekend pass.

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