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Kinmount Fair


by Festival Nomad, Gary McWilliams

Kinmount and the Kinmount Fair
An acquaintance of ours suggested that we visit the Kinmount Fair. He said that he had visited the fair several times and had really enjoyed it! Kinmount is located 25 minutes drive north of Bobcaygeon and has a population of about 400 people. With that number in mind, I wondered just how big or good the fair would be. It was a sunny but cool Saturday morning when we left Cobourg. As we drove north towards Kinmount, the "weather gods" seemed to be conflicted! One minute the sun was shinning, the next it was cloudy, and then it was raining and then, all of a sudden, the sun popped out again! It was hard to know what weather to expect when we reached Kinmount! We encountered a line of traffic as we neared Kinmount. It quickly became apparent that we were not the only ones visiting the Kinmount Fair!

The Parade...
We had arrived in Kinmount just in time to watch the fair's parade. We found a great parking spot along the parade route and then waited for the parade to begin. As we waited a sprinkle of rain started, then increased, then stopped and then the sun finally came out just in time for the parade to start. It was like the “parade weather gods” had won and taken control! We knew that the parade was approaching when we heard the sound of bagpipes off in the distance. I climbed out of the car with my camera at the ready position. It was a great parade with lots of marchers and three bands. Perhaps the stars of the parade were the Shriners. There were several clubs involved, each one with their own unique style. Judi and I really enjoyed their antics!

Entering the Fairgrounds...
With the parade over, it was time to walk the short distance to the fairgrounds. After we had entered the grounds, we were able to introduce ourselves to some of the organizers of the Kinmount Fair. As we talked, I had asked about the population of Kinmount. I was told that it was 400 people strong. I was then told that there was a 600 site trailer park attached to the fairgrounds, At 2 or more people per site, this adds another 1,200 plus people to the village's population! You could tell from the way they told us about the fair, that they were very proud of what they were offering the fair's visitors!

Where to Begin...
It was hard to know where to begin. There was so much to see and enjoy! Off in the distance we saw a crowded Grandstand and heard voices over the PA system. We decided to investigate. What we witnessed was the official opening of the Kinmount Fair. As we neared the stands the colour guard, who had been standing in front of the audience, came to attention and marched off past us. Dignitary speeches were now about to begin. After the speeches, Judi motioned me to follow her to a nearby show ring. Horse drawn wagons were being judged for appearance and style. We watched with fascination as the horse paraded around the ring. From the show ring, we started the exploring the remainder of the Kinmount Fair. We walked through the food area (unfortunately our new found health consciousness kicked in). Judi dragged me past the "all day fresh cut fries bucket" that a small child was devouring! I thought the child might like to share, but that, of course, would have been losing our willpower (be strong Festival Nomad!). After this amazing display of willpower, we started our travels of the fair in earnest! Our first stop took us to the Pioneer Exhibit. This was a large building that housed numerous pioneer demonstrations and displays. The whole building was captivating and we enjoyed it immensely! From the Pioneer Exhibit we wound our way through the various farm animal areas. First we experienced the chickens, rabbits and goats and then came to another two show rings. Here they were judging the different classes of cows. We watched as the herders proudly paraded their charges before the judges. After much judging and consideration, the winners were announced. From the show rings we walked through an area where several horses were hitched to trailers and posts. This brought us back to the Grandstand. Musicians were preparing the stage, getting ready to entertain the crowds.

Unique Fairgrounds...
As we started into the next section, I was struck by how unique the Kinmount Fair fairgrounds were! Unlike most of the fairgrounds we have visited (most have large open areas with a number of buildings), the Kinmount’s grounds were very scenic. They included winding trails through wooded areas, rolling hills and valleys. Each presenting different aspects of the fair. As I mentioned before, there was a large trailer park nestled amongst a forest of trees. The park was housing some 700 visitors. Once we ventured into the unique area of the fairgrounds, the fair, itself, seemed to become even more interesting and more vibrant! This happened even though the weather was deteriorating! We had explored the agricultural exhibit building, listened to some of the fair's Amateur Show and gazed down onto the children’s midway area. It was all very interesting. We left this unique area and followed the pathway back to the main midway zone. We stopped to watch the riders as they "swooshed" through the air! On our way back to the car, Judi and I reflected on the fact that this amazing fair was the product of so few people. It just shows what a community with heart can accomplish!