OAAS News – Wilberforce Fair

~ August 9th and 10th, 2024  

Welcome to the official website of the Wilberforce Agricultural Fair, brought to you by the hard-working volunteers and supporters of the Wilberforce Agricultural Society

What makes the Wilberforce Fair the biggest little fair? Well, it’s true we don’t have a lot of fancy buildings or acres and acres of fairgrounds and thousands of people don’t pour through our gates but what we lack in physical size, we make up for in creativity and community spirit.

Fun at the Wilberforce Fair

Get ready for the Wilberforce Fair, affectionately known as “The Biggest Little Fair Around!” happening on August 9th and 10th, 2024! Nestled in the heart of Ontario, this charming event promises two days packed with excitement, entertainment, and community spirit.

Despite its small-town charm, the Wilberforce Fair boasts big-time attractions that draw visitors from far and wide. From thrilling rides to captivating live entertainment, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Families can look forward to classic fair activities like petting zoos, pony rides, and face painting, while adrenaline junkies can get their fix on the exhilarating midway rides.

One of the hallmarks of the Wilberforce Fair is its strong emphasis on celebrating local talent and heritage. Attendees can explore a variety of exhibits showcasing the best of the region’s agriculture, arts, and crafts. From intricate quilts to mouthwatering preserves, there’s no shortage of homemade goodies to admire and purchase. Agricultural competitions highlight the skills and dedication of local farmers, while live demonstrations offer insight into traditional crafts and trades.

Wagon ride

Community involvement is key to the success of the Wilberforce Fair, with volunteers working tirelessly to ensure a memorable experience for all. From organizing events to staffing booths, their passion and dedication shine through in every aspect of the fair. Their efforts contribute to creating a welcoming atmosphere where attendees can come together to celebrate shared interests and create lasting memories.

As the sun sets on another day of festivities, attendees can relax and unwind while enjoying delicious fair food and refreshing beverages. From classic favorites like cotton candy and corn dogs to gourmet treats from local vendors, there’s no shortage of culinary delights to tempt your taste buds.

So, mark your calendars and join in the fun at the Wilberforce Fair, where big-hearted hospitality meets small-town charm for a weekend you won’t soon forget!

Checking out the Wilberforce 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 Wilberforce Fair