| Sep 03, 2009

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Frontenac County Plowing Match

117th Parham Fair

Maberly Fair

Frontenac County Plowing Matchby Julie Druker

Up close with Clydesdales Noah and Bob at the Frontenac County Rural Show and Plowing Match. L to r: Courtney and Lloyd Orser and Spencer and Mark Richards. 

Aiming for straightness, coverage and uniformity of furrows, Kim Hadwen of Belleville competed at the Frontenac County Rural Show and Plowing Match at the Orser’s farm on August 29 near Sydenham with his team of Belgians, Pete and Jake, on his sulky plow. Competitors in excess of 115 points can qualify for the International Plowing Match to be held in New Liskeard this year.

Kim HadwenPlowing for Kim (photo right) is not just a hobby. He runs a Black Angus beef farm in Belleville and has started running his farm the old-fashioned way. He explained, “I’m going back to plowing this way. This spring I actually hooked up 8 horses and did all my spring seeding and planting this way. I’m doing it to save fuel and get back to the way it used to be.” He’s been working his team for just over a year and judging by furrows it looks as though he might indeed get those 115 points.

117th Parham Fairby Julie Druker

The horse pull, Firday night at theParham Fair

Saturday was every fair board member’s worst nightmare. It poured rain all day and the weather could not have been much worse. Attendance was down at the Parham Fair. Fortunately Friday night had been dry for the Horse Pull and Ambush concert, and the grounds would be packed for the demolition derby on the next day.

But on Saturday the energy level wasn’t that high, but all of that changed when the greased pig contest started. Contestants were split into groups of 6-8 kids, and they first greased up their hands and then set off chasing six piglets, the object being to be the first to grab a pig by the hind legs and drag it into one of two winning circle rings.

Greased pig competitionPhoto right: at the Parham on Saturday contestants aged 7-12 years of age had to grease up their hands and raced to catch a pig by the hind legs and drag it to one of two winners’ circles. Ribbons were given out to all contestants. The event attracted and large and enthusiastic crowd

The crowds ate it up and the kids seemed to have a gas - the pigs, it seemed, not so much, although their loudest squeals came not during the chase but when they were initially taken from their trailers and put into the ring.

Although there has been some controversy over the greased pig contest, (see letters, Sept. 3/09) it appeared that no pig was hurt in the event.

It certainly was not the first rainy Saturday in the history of these two events, which go back to 1884 and 1882, and it won’t be the last.

Fierce competion at Maberly Fair by Jeff Green

Heat 1 in the "Anything Goes" category, gets off to a clean start.

In racing circles, people talk about winning by a nose, but in the rarefied work of Zucchini racing, there are times when the nose needs to be lopped off instead.

That’s what one of the contestants did at last weekend’s Maberly Fair to get the weight of his zucchini vehicle below the 2 lb. limit, and it worked; his nose-less zucchini hit the finish line first.

In the anything goes category, the simple design of young Max Bumstead (photo left) won the day over some pretty fancy opposition, including an 6-cylinder job, a zucchini with giant pink wheels and feathers, and a zucchini vehicle that used vinyl records for wheels.

All in all, the first ever Zucchini races at the Maberly Fair, even though they were held in the pouring rain, were exactly the kind of event anyone could have hoped for. Each competitor certainly dreamed of glory and of the lucrative cash prizes ($10 for 1st, $6 for 2nd, and $3 for 3rd), but there was a general feeling of mayhem and a touch of the absurd to the races that carried them through qualifying heats, the semis and the finals in each category.

Wheeled zucchinis zipping down a track is really a sight to behold, and while there may have been no redeeming value to this event, no compelling reason for it to be held, it provided an excellent excuse to have a really good time.

It also gave the Zucchini, the poor cousin to the cucumber, a chance to take centre stage.

Dedication of the Maberly Fair Exhibit Hall by Julie Druker

Present for the Bill Kennett memorial plaque and dedication ceremony at Maberly Fair on Saturday (l to r) Paul Pospisil, Dennis Pratt, Bill’s wife Valerie Kennett, Rosetta McInnes, Carl Ferguson and Bill’s daughter, Brenda

Friends, family and fans of the late Bill Kennett of Maberly gathered at the entrance to the main exhibit hall at the Maberly fairgrounds on Saturday for a dedication ceremony, which named the hall the Bill Kennett Building in his honour.

The large steel building, the most valuable property of the Agricultural Society, was constructed in the early 1990s with funds raised and hours of work put in by numerous community volunteers. According to Paul Pospisil, past president of the Maberly Agricultural Society, who made the dedication, the “building represents a community spirit of generosity and volunteerism.”

Bill Kennett and his wife Valerie moved to Maberly in 1986 and soon after Bill joined the Agricultural Society as a director working on the financial, insurance and legal aspects of the books as well as preparing an emergency plan. He served as president in 2002 and 2003 and also became the organizer of the fair’s Light Horse Show just so that the event would not be lost. He was also the driving force behind the construction of Diagon Alley, the building that shelters arts and craft displays during the fair.

Bill's most important contribution to the fair was the Thursday morning work parties in which he organized teams of volunteers to carry out the numerous jobs involved in putting on a fair and which inspired local pride in the Maberly fair grounds and its buildings.

President of the Agricultural Society Rosetta McInnes made the formal dedication and unveiled the plaque which will permanently hang as a lasting tribute to Bill Kennett and to the pride and dedication that he brought to community through his work with the Maberly Fair and the Agricultural Society.

After the plaque was unveiled, Bill’s wife Valerie spoke of how the fair site is an important place for her and her family. She thanked Carl Ferguson, who initiated the project, and Dennis Pratt, who carved the plaque.

Emily Morin of Kemptville and Nova S.S., her quarter horse mare, entered a number of events in the light horse class at the maberly fair and camme away with a number of prizes, including first place in the English Pleasure Riding event.

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