Every year, my family travels to the small farming town of Winchester, Ontario to visit friends and to attend a country fair in their area. This country fair is located in a little village called South Mountain...even though South Mountain is small, it hosts the best fair that I have been to.
My friend Kelly Fawcett-Mathers grew up in Winchester and she is the 5th generation member of the Fawcett family to attend this fair...against Kelly's wishes, I volunteered her to go on this ride as my stomach lurched just watching it...I'm a good friend that way!
This is Kelly's "Pop", Allison Fawcett with his son (and Kelly's Dad), Hugh Fawcett and Kelly's girls, Taylor and Erika Mathers...Pop spoke at the opening ceremonies and shared many memories of his 85 years attending this particular fair.
Pop has been involved in many aspects of the fair, including years of showing dairy calves and horses, tractor pulls and much more...Hugh followed in his father's footsteps, showing calves and has been a very active member of the fair board along with his wife Diane, organizing many events, including the entertainment.
When we visit, we are lucky to get a quick hug in as Hugh and Diane are so busy making sure everything runs smoothly for everyone who has attended!
Taylor and Erika did really well at their calf show, hauling in a first and second ribbon...these little girls are the 6th generation to show their calves here...clearly showing in is their blood!
Their Dad, David Mathers is originally a dairy farmer from Ireland who quickly "swept the nation" with his showmanship skills when he moved to Canada...I think there may have been a little competition when Dave and Kelly first met in the show ring!
Most fairs have the same things...rides, games, countless food vendors but here, there is so much more...when you first arrive, there is a massive field that is dedicated to free parking for your car, truck, tent, R.V...you name it...It is a quick walk from your vehicle to the gate where it is $20 each to get in...your entry to the fair includes, livestock shows, tractor pulls and rural exhibits, a kid's pavilion with Disney Princesses and characters, a petting zoo, pony rides, farmer olympics with great prizes and my favourite, the greasy pig competition for the kids and more!
Your wrist band is your key to endless rides on the midway and is your ticket to see a country music concert! If you want to make a weekend out of it...the price is $50 per person but that gives you days of fun including another fantastic country music act...I know that I sound like a used car salesman, but I seem to remember dropping $20 for parking and entry at other fairs, then getting hosed to the tune of $80 just for rides alone...for 1 child!!!
Saturday night, Corey Marquardt put on a fantastic concert, playing cover songs of various country stars as well as belting out several of his own hits...it was hard to get close enough for photos as numerous swooning girls had rushed the stage...I was just up there for pictures...really, I was!! :)
Jordan MacIntosh, a local country star, finished the night with his musical talents and got the younger crowd jumpin'...Erika got right into it...Isabel...well, she has sensitive ears! Lol!
The following afternoon, Kelly, Taylor, Erika and Diane got up on stage and sang some classic country tunes...including "Talk back trembling lips" and "You ain't woman enough (to take my man)"...
This family is very talented...Dave and I were actually quite disgruntled that we haven't been able to ride on their country musical coat tails by now!
Teea Goans made a special trip all the way from Nashville to sing at the South Mountain Fair and
wowed a packed tent with her beautiful voice and bubbly personality. Teea is a classic country kind 'a girl and did not fail to deliver fantastic renditions of songs like Bill Anderson's "Walk out backwards", Red Lane's "The world needs a melody" and many more including hits from her latest album "Memories to Burn".
The anticipation and excitement grew before this country music star took the stage and Joe Diffie delivered a phenomenal show to all of his fans crowding the venue.
Joe played a fantastic version of my favourite Charlie Rich song, "Behind closed doors" and some George Jones classics, before "bringing down the house" with his own "Home", "Pick up Man", "John Deere Green" and so many more!
It was so hot that day but nobody budged as this music great played on...I would say that Diane, Hugh and the other fair committee members had really out done themselves yet again, for this "big, little country fair"!
Oh...and when you go next year, remember to stuff yourselves with the area favourite, "Poutine" made with local cheese curd and the Eastern Ontario classic pastry, "Beavertails"!