A fair weekend

Alycia Douglass

SOUTH STORMONT, Ontario – The Stormont County Fair closed out the summer in style this Labour Day weekend, celebrating 150 years of agricultural fun.

While Sunday’s rain put a bit of a damper on some of the weekend’s activities, there was still plenty to see and do at the fair. With horse shows and livestock competitions taking place throughout the weekend, folks had ample opportunity to cheer on their friends or witness something a little different.

Gordon Moat has a deep-rooted passion for antique spinning and weaving equipment, and came to the fair to enlighten those old and young on what has become somewhat of a lost art. With a spinning wheel cobbled together from two wheels, Moat unpacked his vast knowledge on the works of Horton Row, a 19th-century craftsman and entrepreneur in Kemptville.

“I like getting the children to actually hold the fleece,” said Moat. “They get the feel of the fibres leaving their hands, and it’s really a novel experience. Today is a rare sight, because we have a sheep sheerer working on one end, and the knitting club on the other.”

In addition to Moat’s demonstration, Robert L. Vaughan, an experienced blacksmith, was also showcasing something no longer seen in everyday life.

“I do a variety of things with no torches, no electric – just the heat of the fire,” said Vaughan. “Some people are quite fascinated with the craft – there are things that can be done with a forge and anvil that you can’t do any other way.”

Another demonstration which received heavy praise was the South Stormont County Volunteer Firefighters’ emergency response re-enactment. Showing how things like the jaws of life are used in action, the purpose of the demo was to inform people of the careful procedure that firefighters must follow to ensure safety.

“It’s a great way to show people what actually goes into saving a life,” said volunteer firefighter, Rodney Beaudette. “Everything was done in slow motion so we could break it down and explain to the crowd what we were doing and why we were doing it.”

While the fair has come and gone for another year, a good time was undoubtedly had by all.

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