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Kingston’s Fall Fair

Kingston Fall FairAs someone who hails from the countryside, I grew up attending rural fairs, complete with agricultural and livestock competitions, pie eating contests, bake-offs, which my cousin always won, and rickety carnival rides with questionable safety records. That’s all to say that I was forced to witness the coronation of countless 4H kings and queens, have been barked at by my fair share of carnival employees, and yet I have a special place in my heart for the sights and sounds of these modest, community-run events.  This past weekend, Kingston’s 181st Fall Fair came and went, while it included all of the familiar trappings we’ve come to expect: cotton candy, the demolition derby, petting zoo, impossible games of chance, etc…  In spite of our best intentions to take part in this year’s Fall Fair, the urge just wasn’t strong enough.  This got me thinking about all the people who attend the fair, and how long we can expect Kingston’s Fall Fair to survive.  Accordingly, this week’s poll asks:

Do you plan on attending the Fall Fair in 2012 and beyond?

  • No way, no how. (68%, 67 Votes)
  • Yes. Wouldn't miss it! (21%, 21 Votes)
  • Only if my kids make me. (9%, 9 Votes)
  • Something else entirely. (2%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 99

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Driving by the rehabilitated grounds of the Memorial Centre this past weekend, I felt as though the Fall Fair was a vast improvement over what I’ve witnessed in year’s past.  The long line ups, which snaked all the way out to the road, plus the jam packed grand stand, were positive indications that our fair is alive and well. But again, we drove by without stopping, and it’s really hard for me to put my finger on why we didn’t attend.  I suppose the draw of the traveling roadshow used to be that it brought fun and food to the community, however these frills are definitely easier to come by in comparison to the early, hay days of the rural fair.

For those who were there, what am i missing? For those who’ve stopped attending the Fall Fair, why did you stop?  What could the Kingston and District Agricultural Society do to bring you back, or do you think the fair is fine as is?

Special thanks to Pedski for this photo, which I believe we’ve used once before.

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Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

4 thoughts on “Kingston’s Fall Fair

  • September 19, 2011 at 10:29 am
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    I was going to go but the number of confederate flags I saw painted on pick up truck windows turned me off. Not my scene.

  • September 19, 2011 at 10:42 am
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    We went this year, we always do, but I must be getting old. I'm out of patience with the smokers, long lineups and expense of the whole thing. Two and a half hours of lineups and noise cost us about 60 bucks and we went on just three rides. We enjoyed the livestock barns and the ice cream, but after 2 hours even my kid was fed up and we had to get out of there. It's not worth it anymore. I doubt we'll do it next year.

  • September 19, 2011 at 12:05 pm
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    Definitely, the smokers were a major turn-off for me. I have asthma and had a bad cold… SO not a healthy choice!

  • September 19, 2011 at 12:35 pm
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    I don't know about the Fall Fair, but the Multicultural Arts Festival this last weekend was a lot of fun. Not as good as last year, but still a good time. I think the cool weather put a bit of a damper on things.

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