Warkworth Fall Fair
Article by Kevin Stuart, Festival Nomad Correspondent
"KenJen Zoo Pig Races at the Warkworth Fall Fair"
Nestled in what’s often called the “rolling hills of Northumberland” in central Ontario is the quiet and picturesque village of Warkworth. There is always a real sense of community participation and that’s particularly evident at the annual Warkworth Fall Fair. The 2014 edition saw the added attraction of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Golden Helmet precision motorcycle ride. The riders have appeared at various fairs and have also been featured on CBC TV’s Rick Mercer Report. It’s quite a performance to observe as the team works in synch to provide an entertaining show for local spectators. They have risen to such a level that fans can collect special cards of the team and its individual riders. Even young “riders” can get in on the act in the photo ops available afterwards.
Another advantage in Warkworth is that, even when the attendance is high, it is not difficult to find a parking space within a five-minute walk which also affords a chance to view the quaint shops and homes in the heart of the village. We arrived just in time to catch the first celebrity pig race of the day as presented by Ken & Jen. This is one of the highlights of the Warkworth Fall Fair and does offer a unique opportunity found only at a handful of events. Those who wished could sit beside one of the prize-winning pigs after the races.
Naturally there was lots of other animal life to be found and the petting barn was actually quite large, housing various friendly creatures. These included rabbits, goats, llamas, ponies, and chickens. Of course, most kids of all ages find it irresistible to reach out to these friendly inhabitants. I should also mention that, outside the barn we saw them bring a friendly cockatoo from Jungle Cat World who surveyed all the comings and goings from his perch.
From there we wandered over to the arena where several arts, crafts and other exhibits were to be found, proving the talent the area has to offer. Whether it’s quilting, floral or woodcraft, many visitors found something to add to their own home décor.
Another building hosted exhibits from the local schools from a few possible contributors to future editions of the Warkworth Fall Fair. Nearby was the ongoing wood carving demonstration with several completed works on display. It was amazing to see the magic one can create with wood and carving tools.
For current young crafters, there was the RONA craft booth which offered a chance to build one’s own toolbox. The kids were happy to take home a new container for, well, almost anything they eventually decide.
While the Warkworth Fall Fair may not be one of the larger ones in the area, it does boast a certain warmth and friendliness amongst its organizers. If you’re planning a visit in future years, there are various contests available through their website and Facebook page. It’s all at www.warkworthfair.com.