100 and counting for Hymers Fair
The ground occasionally shook like a mini earthquake had hit, and the heat shimmered like it was Nevada.
But that didn’t stop as many as 13,000 fair-goers from checking out a more traditional way of life Sunday and Monday at the annual Hymers Fall Fair.
“I believe attendance is up 25 per cent,” fair spokeswoman Sandra Mazur commented just an hour before the gates closed Monday at 5 p.m., as the mercury remained at a scorching 30 C.
“It’s blasting hot, but people are staying well-hydrated. I hope this is one (fair) that goes down in the history books.”
The fairgrounds, located at Hymers village 30 kilometres southwest of Thunder Bay, sometimes shook due to one of the new events added to mark the fair’s 100th anniversary: Enormous Clydesdale horses, decorated with fancy ribbons, pounded the turf with their huge hooves.
Those dying for a cold beer or a cool roller-coaster ride were out of luck, but that’s always the case at the Hymers Fair.
The event features no beer garden or midway, so it “remains uniquely country.”
“The vision of the fair is an ongoing commitment to encourage an awareness of agriculture, and to promote improvements in the life skills and quality of life of people,” according to the fair’s website.
“I won’t be around, but I hope it goes for another hundred years,” Mazur, a past fair president, remarked.
The fair features contests galore, quaint and fun, including the oldest person at the fairgrounds on any given day; on Monday it was Thunder Bay’s 95-year-old Hazel Johnson.
And don’t forget the cutest baby photo.
This year the most votes were in for one of O’Connor Township’s newest residents — 10-month-old Nicholas Laforest.
Erin Laforest, Nicholas’ mom, said her family tries to go to the fair every year.
It wasn’t hard finding a good picture for the photo contest.
“He just smiles all the time,” Laforest said. “We’re really lucky.”