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150 years “Fair” in Shelburne

September 12, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Marni Walsh


Shelburne and District Fall Fair will celebrate along with Canada when they open their gates for the 150th year on September 15.

The anniversary prompted a move to “a more traditional fair with the theme 150 years: Pioneer Ways to Modern Days,” says long-time volunteer Karren Wallace.

Newly appointed President of the Shelburne District Agricultural Society Larry Braiden says, “The Board of Directors, Committee members and the many volunteers have been working hard all year to make this fair the best one yet.”

Beginning in 1867, the Shelburne and District Fair Board is the “oldest continuing organization in town,” according to the John Rose “History of Shelburne;” older in fact, than the town itself, as Shelburne was not incorporated until 1879.

At first, the organizing group was known as the Melancthon Agricultural Society with John Mills as President. The first fair was a one day event held in October of 1868 on the roadside of Masonville, north of Shelburne.

In 1888, Simon Jelly, who was Shelburne founder William Jelly’s older brother and the first of the Jelly family to settle in Shelburne, gave 16 acres of his farm to the Driving Club; this is the location of the present fairgrounds.

“When the Shelburne and District Agricultural Society launched 150 years ago,” Larry Braiden says, in his message from the President, “its purpose was to promote agriculture, and showcase new technologies. It was an opportunity for the local farmers to come together and show off their hard work, talk and learn from other farmers. This still happens today. We remain true to our roots, focusing on agriculture and home craft competitions.

“All of which,” Mr. Braiden continues, “would not be possible if we didn’t have the exhibitors, vendors, patrons and sponsors.”

Fair Secretary Sue Peterson says new this year for the celebrations, the Board has planned a truck and tractor pull on Saturday afternoon.

Patrons should note that this means the Derby will be on Sunday afternoon. There will be a Food Court with lots of food options and more inflatable bounces for the kids.

In fact, new director Lindsay Wegener says, “There will be a giant inflatable section for kids which will cost $10 per child to play all day.”

Free pony rides are available for one hour on Saturday and two hours on Sunday, sponsored by Jenn Horne Realty.

“We will have Jungle Justin Wildlife Co. attending on Saturday offering reptile information, and pictures with snakes and lizards, as well as a few small shows sponsored by the MacRae Realty Team,” says Lindsay.

There will be face painting, henna tattoos, a petting zoo in the little red barn and some animals sponsored by Armstrong Family Farm, Lennox Farm Market, and Sammons Custom Farming.

Murray Crawford who looks after the Hog Calling and Rooster Crowing Contests says there will be a new addition this year: a Husband Hollering Contest, all run Saturday afternoon and Murray says, “Trophies and prize money are up for grabs along with bragging rights if you win.”

Crawford reminds fair patrons, “All the fair work is done by dedicated volunteers.”

Come celebrate the Sesquicentennial of the Shelburne and District Fair September 15-17 and enjoy: the horse shows, the demolition derby, the giant pumpkin auction, live entertainment, a children’s interactive area, the car show, vendors, lawn tractor races, truck and tractor pull, livestock shows, exhibits, competitions, demonstrations, antiques, farm equipment, calling and crowing and fun for the whole family.

For more information about the Shelburne & District 150th Annual Fall Fair pick up a fair book from local shops along Main Street in Shelburne.



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