"Ontario Visited's video presentation of our various visits to the Norfolk County Fair & Horse Show."
Norfolk County Fair & Horse Show ~ Ontario's oldest agricultural fair!
by Gary McWilliams (aka The Festival Nomad)
"Entrance to the Norfolk County Fair & Horse Show."
Judi and I have been visiting the Norfolk County Fair & Horse Show for several years. Each time we visit the Fair, it's like coming home, but with many new and exciting discoveries!
"The grandstand offers fair goers many entertaining activities."
Norfolk County Fair's large Grandstand has witnessed many exciting events! There have been many great entertainer, such as Terry Clark and Carly Rea Jepson. Wonderful competitions such as the one we enjoyed when the local schools competed against one another at the annual Young Canada Day Competitions. Other competitions and displays enjoyed, included HORSES! Horses hitched to wagons, horses racing around barrels and horses performing amazing tricks! One year we were privledged to see the OPP Golden Helmets. What a spectacular events!
"Lots of farm produce on display!"
Under the Grandstand are the farm produce displays. Winners of the "largest' and "best" are "tagged"! We always look for the largest pumpkin... well over 1000 pounds!
Mixed among the farm produce are interest displays, demonstrating the richness of rural and farm life!
"Judging has taken place and the winners are on displays!"
The Norfolk County Fair features awesome Homecraft displays. The pride of each competitior shows in every entry!
"Hard to resist!"
The Fair's commercial building offers so much, sweet, goodies, handmade crafts, interesting clothing and much more.
"Walking through the midway."
The noise and excitement always attracts so many people to the midway, especially the kids! The Norfolk County Fair & Horse Show features one of the best.
"The rides are alway exciting!"
Judi and I love to watch the midway rides and the people who are enjoying them! The screams coming from the riders only add to the anticipation of those waiting in line!
Kids and animals are amazing, especially when they compete in "the RING"! I always amazed at how the farm kids manage to handle animals and that twice their size and weight! I sometimes try to visualized myself leading one of these magnificent animals, but shutter at the thought!
"Walking the walk ~ horse and carriage"
Everytime I see a horse drawn carriage or wagon, I think of my family roots. My great great Grandfather, and his family before him, came to Canada (Lakefield) and started to build wagons and carriages. Maybe this was like the kind that they built!
"... and the winner is!"
I think that the "six-horse hitch" competition is my favourite Fair event. I am always excited by the spectacular wagons pulled by 6 magnificent "heavy" horses!
"Stand up and RIDE!"
As I mentioned above, the Norfolk County Fair offers a lot of exciting events. One of the most exciting events was the "trick" riding. The photo above shows a rider standing on the backs of two "galloping" horse who were being lead by two other "galloping" horses! WOW!
"Admiring the food selection."
One of the unique features at the Norfolk County Fair is their "Flavourfest Farmers' Market". The Market promotes local produce and products. A fabulous place to explore!
"Chef Cobin Tomaszeski"
One year the Fair featured well known TV Chef Corbin Tomaszeski. His demostration was very interesting and entertaining! I don't think that I will be following in his footsteps as a Chef!
"Country singer Terri Clark"
Country singer and songwriter, Terri Clark was a featured act at the Fair, as was Burton Cummings and many others!
"Good olde number 08!"
Monster trucks, tractor pulls and, of course, DEMOLITION DERBIES! "You "fix'em"... we "wreck'em"! The Norfolk County Fair has them all!
"The OPP Golden Helmets"
Honouring one of their own in a bridge naming ceremony, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Golden Hemlet motorcycle team demonstrated their precision riding in front of the Fair's Grandstand audience.
"Young Canada Day at the Fair!"
The noise as we entered the Fair Granstand was "deafening"! It was Young Canada Day at the Norfolk County Fair & Horse Show and the "kids" were "enthusiastic". The "GAMES" were in full swing and each group was cheering for their own team!
"One of Young Canada Day's many competition."
Who knew that something over 175 years old could be so exciting!
A few years ago our Festival Nomad Correspondent, Chris Spraakman visited the Norfolk County Fair & Horse Show, Here is Chris's account ~
Norfolk County Fair Visited
by Festival Nomad Correspondent, Chris Spraakman
Perfect weather, great food, and one of the largest midways in Ontario: an ideal recipe to bring out thousands of fans for Simcoe’s annual Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show.
Now in its’ 173rd year, this year’s fair was held October 8-14. With this much experience behind them, the fair is now a well-run and organized machine. The fair grounds include a full grandstand with main shows (nightly music, horse shows, etc), a vast midway and set of games, a large number of food vendors, along with exhibits featuring displays, animals, and shopping.
Headlining musicians brought in thousands as Friday saw Big & Rich on their ‘Party like Coyboyz tour’ and Saturday brought Canadian favorite Carly Rae Jepsen playing a full show.
This year, many standard and well-loved aspects of any fall fair were hits and continued to be well represented. Events included Tom Bishop’s Wild West Show, a tractor pull, heavy horse pull, and a western horse show. Two demolition derbies were held over the course of the week including holiday Monday’s Williams Cup Demolition Championship, billed as “Canada’s #1 Demolition Derby”.
On a totally different note, in order to properly sample and enjoy the food choices available to residents of this region, the fair hosted Flavourfest. This gourmet food event brought together local food producers and celebrity chefs in order to offer a more intimate experience for foodies and food appreciators alike. As Simcoe is an area known throughout Ontario for the quality of food that it produces, the local products available and culinary treats is something worth experiencing.
On the other side of the food spectrum, Norfolk County’s carnival-food took a lead from the CNE with deep-fried Mars bars and Oreo cookies but (luckily) no Cronut burgers!
In terms of food on display, a great aspect of this fair is the agricultural products – the many varieties of fruit and vegetable grown locally and on display is proof of the abilities and knowledge of the local people. Yearly contests were well represented with giant pumpkins, vegetables of all types, tallest corn stalk competitions, and more.
To entertain children, a few great shows were put on such as the Freddy Fusion Science Magic Show and the Mad Science demonstrations were held throughout each day.
The Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show in Simcoe Ontario is a great event worthy of your time – after all, over 100,000 people visited the 7 day long fair this year! The fair’s website is www.norfolkcountyfair.com and next year’s fair will be held surrounding the Thanksgiving weekend. It’s an experience with something for everyone!