OAAS News – Napanee Fair

~ August 4th to 7th, 2024  

Prepare to be captivated by the timeless allure of rural tradition at the 191st Napanee Fair, scheduled to take place from August 4th to August 7th, 2024. Nestled in the heart of Napanee, Ontario, this esteemed event promises four days of unforgettable experiences, celebrating the region’s agricultural heritage and vibrant community spirit.

As one of the oldest agricultural fairs in Ontario, the Napanee Fair holds a special place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike. From the moment you step onto the fairgrounds, you’ll be greeted by a tapestry of sights, sounds, and scents that evoke the essence of rural life. The air is filled with the tantalizing aroma of freshly prepared fair food, beckoning you to indulge in a variety of culinary delights ranging from classic funnel cakes to savory barbecue.

Welcome to the Napanee Fair

Amidst the hustle and bustle, the agricultural exhibits stand as a testament to the dedication and skill of local farmers. Take a stroll through the livestock barns, where prize-winning cattle, sheep, and poultry are showcased with pride. Marvel at the intricate displays of fruits, vegetables, and grains, each one a testament to the region’s fertile soil and favorable climate.

But the Napanee Fair offers much more than just agriculture. Throughout the event, visitors can enjoy a diverse array of entertainment options, including thrilling amusement rides, live music performances, and captivating animal shows. Families can partake in friendly competitions, explore interactive exhibits, and browse through a bustling marketplace featuring artisanal crafts and locally made products.

Crash tested!

Moreover, the Napanee Fair serves as a platform for community engagement and connection. From the grand parade that kicks off the festivities to the numerous volunteer-run booths and activities, there are ample opportunities for residents and visitors alike to come together and celebrate the bonds that unite them.

As the sun sets on each day of the fair, the excitement only continues to grow, culminating in spectacular fireworks displays that light up the night sky with bursts of color and wonder. Whether you’re a longtime resident or a first-time visitor, the 191st Napanee Fair promises an unforgettable experience filled with tradition, camaraderie, and cherished memories.

Going for a ride at the Napanee Fair

History of Agricultural Fairs

Fairs are almost as old as recorded history. There were two types of ancient fairs: trade shows and festivals. From the biblical “Fairs of Tyre” to Sturbridge Fair in medieval England, fairs were used as market places and carnivals. In the 1700’s the British crossed the agricultural improvement society with the traditional trade fair/carnival and agricultural fairs were born.

These agricultural fairs were transplanted to the colonies by the earliest British settlers. The concept of fairs soon flourished in agrarian North America. In Canada, the first agricultural society was formed in 1765 in Nova Scotia. Ontario followed suit in 1792 with the Agricultural Society of Upper Canada based at Niagara on the Lake. From the Ontario strongholds, the concept of agricultural fairs spread west with the first settlers.

After a few false starts, the system of agricultural societies and their fairs spread all over Ontario in the 1800’s. They were organized by county and township and at one time numbered over 500 in Ontario alone. While agricultural societies used many methods (of varying success) to improve agriculture and the rural lifestyle, they’re most enduring and endearing legacy was the agricultural fair. Industrial exhibitions and festivals came and went, but the fairs just carried on. Fairs soon became an ingrained part of Ontario’s (and indeed Canada’s) culture. They still are, in our society.

Ontario Fairs have changed since their inception, but they still carry on their mandate of promoting agriculture and the rural lifestyle.

Want to see modern tradition meet the modern world? Attend a fair!

Click HERE to visit the Napanee Fair