Fairs find a way around COVID-19

The Brooke-Alvinston-Watford Fall Fair will include a demolition derby this year. The ag society there, and in Petrolia, are hosting events following COVID-19 protocols.

The agriculture societies in Brooke-Alvinston and Petrolia-Enniskillen have found ways to provide some family fun, despite COVID-19 restrictions.

The Petrolia Enniskillen Fall Fair normally runs the second weekend in September – the first fair of the season. Ag Society President Demi Krall says they cancelled the event in the spring, because of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19.

“It costs thousands of dollars to put on a weekend event like the fair and with COVID-19 rules, we are limited to the amount of people we can have attend. We couldn’t risk putting up that kind of money and only be allowed 50 per cent capacity,” says Krall.

But as restrictions started to ease, the board saw an opportunity.

“As the rules started to loosen up, we decided to do something on a smaller scale – something that people could still come and enjoy, but was less of a risk.” Krall says Rumblefish will come to play at the Greenwood Park grounds Sept. 10 and Sept. 11 there will be a comedy night. There will also be an antique tractor pull during the day Saturday.

“We are very excited to be able to put on an event and we hope that we can count on the town and surrounding areas for support. We’re doing everything we can to make sure it is a fun and safe weekend for everyone,” she says.

In Brooke-Alvinston, Ag Society President Dan Cumming says they’re also planning to host a pared back version of the fair the first weekend of October.

“Unfortunately, there will not be a midway this year. The pandemic has heavily impacted the midway industry,” he says.

But, there will be a lot of other activities for families.

“We are planning to host a tractor pull on the Friday night, with a beer garden and live entertainment,” he says.

“Saturday there will be some exhibits set up in the arena auditorium and an outdoor Pet Show. We plan to hold a drive-thru roast beef dinner on Saturday as well. After the dinner, Alvinston’s new Sr. A hockey team, the Alvinston Killer Bees, will be having their home opener,” Cumming adds.

And the demolition derby returns Sunday.

Since the only other fair this year in Lambton will be in Forest, the Brooke-Alvinston-Watford event will be the last one of the season.

Both Krall and Cumming says the fair boards have been working with public health to make sure they have the measures are needed under the COVID-19 rules to make the events safe.