Ladies risk high heels in corn fields

By Jake Davies - West Carleton Online

CARP – Scarecrows, ravens, corn, tractors and combines, when it comes to West Carleton’s premier party, the women really know how to dress up.

Last Friday (April 12) night the 21st Carp Fair Ladies Night touched down at the W. Erskine Johnston Arena, and once again it was the biggest party of the year. Nearly 1,000 women attended the event which featured shopping, dinner, live music with the Riley New Band, dancing and tons and tons of selfies.

A cowgirl poses beside a combine.
From left, Fitzroy Harbour cowgirl Chiara Latreille and combine Brooke Cameron pose for a photo. Photo by Jake Davies

This year’s theme was High Heels and Corn Fields, and the imagination shown by those in attendance was amazing. From fancy country outfits to flat-out, full-on costumes, everyone put their best foot forward.

Some costumes West Carleton Online witnessed includes a murder of crows, scarecrows, tractors and of course, high heels on them all. There was a group of baseball players that a partygoer had to explain to West Carleton Online was referencing the Kevin Costner movie Field of Dreams.

There were all kinds of corn from niblets to stalks, from corn hats to corn shirts, to head-to-toe corn floral patterns.

It was another huge success and another great fundraiser for the Carp Agricultural Society and its chosen charity, this year the Huntington Society of Canada which raises funds to assist individuals and families who have members with Huntington’s Disease. Before the party got underway, event organizers donated $6,000 to charity representatives in the West Carleton Amateur Sports Club.

People pose with a really big cheque.
From left, the Carp Fair President Jon Daley, Huntington chapter volunteer Sharon Haig, Wendy Murphy, Nancy Murphy and Carp Fair President Jean Sullivan pose with a really big cheque and $6,000 for Huntington’s Disease research. Photo by Jake Davies

This year’s Ladies Night was led by 2024 Carp Fair President of Homecraft Jean Sullivan, who during the event, was very busy making sure the night’s dinner started earlier than last year (a two-hour delay due to attendees’ chatting as opposed to any error on the part of the caterer) while West Carleton Online was there, so we caught up with her this morning (April 15) where she answered our questions from Ireland. Quite a busy weekend for Sullivan.

“The event was a grand success,” Sullivan, who has attended many a Ladies Night over the years, but never as Carp Fair president, told West Carleton Online. “It was a rush to stand on stage and welcome everyone and feel the enthusiasm of the crowd. I think the ladies enjoyed the food by Ullrich’s and the Riley New Band had the dance floor rocking.”

This is the first major event the presidents host during their year as Carp Fair presidents. 2024 President of Agriculture Jon Daley led Carp Fair Men’s Night held just the week before.

“I am so proud to lead the Carp Fair Homecraft Division this year and be co- president with Jon Daley,” Sullivan said. “As you know Men’s and Ladies Nights are important fundraisers for the Carp Fair.”

Two tractors surround a farmer.
From left, John Deere fans Ashley Brennan, Angela Minichilli and Clare Passmore pose for a photo. Photo by Jake Davies

While the pair are charged with leading the event, it takes a lot more than two people to put on these huge events.

“The whole board is key to making this event happen,” Sullivan said. “The Agriculture Division works hard to get things set up to suit us. And the ladies make the vision come to life.”

And the only men you will see on Ladies Night are those who volunteered to work the event and ensure the evening was only about the ladies.

The president oversees coming up with a theme for each Ladies Night. It inspires attendees in their wardrobe choices and that is one of the highlights of every year. The trick is to pick a theme that is recognizable, but vague enough to leave lots of room for interpretation. This year Sullivan came up with High Heels and Corn Fields.

“Agriculture is near and dear to my heart,” Sullivan, who is also a very active leader in West Carleton’s many 4-H clubs, said. “This fair was built on agriculture and the work of rural folks. It’s so fun to celebrate with almost 1,000 ladies.”

Three people pose for a photo.
From left, Stacey HEarne, Jennifer Eastman and Avaleigh Schouten pose for a photo. Photo by Jake Davies

Sullivan said attendees didn’t disappoint.

“The costumes and theme-related ideas were so creative,” she said. “Tractors, scarecrows, and lots of high heels! It’s always fun to see what the ladies come up with, and they never disappoint.”

While the Carp Fair is still months away and both Ladies and Men’s Night behind, there is still lots going on with the Carp Agricultural Society over the next several weeks.

“With Ladies Night behind us, one more euchre is ahead on April 20 (starting at noon at the Carp Agricultural Hall) and then we’ll be looking forward to the Truck and Tractor Pull on June 15,” Sullivan said. 

More ladies pose for a photo.
Organizers say just under 1,000 ladies attended the 21st Carp Fair Ladies Night held in Carp last Friday. Photo by Jake Davies


Seven ladies pose for a photo.
There were several photography backdrops located around the party where attendees could document the event like this group of Buckham’s Bay ladies calling themselves the Westsiders. Photo by Jake Davies


A person takes a photo of five others.
Photos and selfies are a huge part of Carp Fair Ladies Night. Photo by Jake Davies


Four people in corn outfits.
Four ladies show off their corny outfits at the 21st Carp Fair Ladies Night. Photo by Jake Davies
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