Metcalfe Fair gets creative as show must go on

Special to WC Online

METCALFE  – The 164th edition of the Metcalfe Fair will take place in 2020 but it may not be the agricultural celebration that exhibitors and fair-goers are used to.

“The Metcalfe Fair has always been a weekend to showcase the local rural and agricultural community,” the Metcalfe Agricultural Society released in a statement today (July 22). “It is a time to commemorate and renew friendships and for family members to come back home for a visit as they watch livestock shows; see the culinary exhibits, crafts and quilting; enjoy the thrill of the demo derby and truck pull and sample fair food.”

“We are going to have a fair from Oct. 1 to 4, but it will not be the fair people are used to,” Agnes Lee, Metcalfe Agricultural Society president, said. “Instead, the board is currently developing re-imagined fair events, all while adhering to guidelines and restrictions of both public health and governmental bodies.”

The health and safety of fair-goers, sponsors, donors, exhibitors, vendors, volunteers and employees is of paramount importance. Like many other festivals, businesses and government agencies, the Metcalfe Fair Board is giving careful and thoughtful consideration to this year’s event and continues to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Staff and volunteers are in regular contact with partners, agency authorities and are prepared to respond to recommendations.

“COVID-19 will not drive an end to the Metcalfe Fair,” first vice-president Andrea Taylor said. “It will drive a change for the 2020 fair. What we do know is we are embracing this opportunity to put all our creative energy into remaining true to our agriculture roots while modernizing events we will host.”

Organizers are looking into ways of pivoting the 2020 fair to bring entertainment, activities and shows to the community under the Metcalfe Fair umbrella.

“We are going to make sure we are in compliance and harmony with the direction by health officials and government,” Taylor said. “But there are a lot of great examples where entertainers are going viral with live performances that we air.”

Watch for information regarding these events on the fair website and social media pages in the days and weeks ahead.

The Metcalfe Agricultural Society hosts the annual Metcalfe Fair, which is one of Ontario’s premier agricultural exhibitions. Since 1856, volunteers have made the Metcalfe Fair a signature event in for the community. For many it is home; a place to gather and celebrate generations of agriculture while enjoying the best in entertainment with family and friends. Our commitment is to remain home.

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