Lots to see & do with new displays and events— but volunteers are needed

Article by Valerie MacDonald

Above image: (L-R) Olga Chernuck, Diana Barrett/fair images submitted by Diana Barrett

The Port Hope and District Agricultural Society is holding its 190th fair— September 14 to 17 — with some new and expanded events celebrating agriculture.

“I participated in the fair for the past 27 years and I got hooked,” second-year Society director Diana Barrett told the News Now Network during an interview outside the Society’s building off McCauley Street at the Port Hope Fair Grounds.

“And I was looking for something…(when I)…helped last year…and I have a farming and business background,” said Olga Chernuck, about becoming a Society director this year.

The pair are looking for others, both youth and seniors, and any age in between, to volunteer to ensure every part of this year’s fair celebration is the best. There are all kinds of jobs and activities in which to get involved.

The Port Hope Fair, like others across Ontario, are having to find new volunteers as many long-time volunteers never returned after the pandemic, the pair explained. Barrett said the fair needs at least 50 volunteers with 15 of that number Smart Serve qualified so they can work in the beer tent.

One of this year’s expanded events is Youth Agriculture Day which runs on the 14th and 15th for grade 3 Northumberland County students. It used to run for one day but now more students can “learn about agriculture,” Barrett said. The information they will receive dovetails with the educational curriculum for students in grade 3. Among the activities the youngsters will be to get close to will involve live pigs, herding dogs, milking cows and a display about how horses are shod. Also, alpacas from Old Mill Alpacas are expected to be there.

A new feature this year will be some antique tree planting equipment that was used to plant the Ganaraska Forest.

The new “Agriculture Discovery Area” will include a children’s stage in the south field with more than eight local agriculture industry displays focusing such processes as milking a cow and how wheat goes from field to table. And there will be a children’s stage for music.

There will also be a “Mock Poultry Show” (not live birds this year because of Avian Flu) with an opportunity for young and old to design and build their own poultry.

There will be a sheep shearing event on Sunday.

And, new this year, on Saturday and Sunday, local chefs will be giving demonstrations on canning and cooking local produce says Chernuck.

No fair would be complete without animal competitions: dairy on Saturday, beef on Sunday and a sanctioned goat show, also on Sunday.

While our information yesterday, indicated that there will be no demolition derby this year, today we were informed that there will be along with the truck pull.

And, finally, there will be lots of music with many bands and an open mic session Thursday evening.

To volunteer or check out information go to www.porthopefair.com/volunteers or call (905) 396-3247.

At the time of this interview, the annual booklet that is produced by the fair has not been published but should be out soon.