The fall fair began with a performance by Jimmy Flynn and spanned over five days, concluding on Sunday evening. The fair had events suitable for students, children and indeed all Sackville residents.
This year was the fifteenth year for the fair. Matt Pryde, Sackville’s manager of recreation programs and events said, “[The fair] showcases local talents, brings Mount Allison and the Town [of Sackville] closer together, draws thousands into the Town and is by far the biggest event in Sackville.” The fair draws a substantial amount of economic benefits for the town, said Pryde. Events included parades, bake sales, luncheons, fireworks and barbeques.
New to the fall fair this year were laser tag and a glow party held in the King St. parking lot. In years past, there had been a midway park in the same location, but due to scheduling conflicts this year that was not possible. “Both [laser tag and the glow party] were a huge hit, and we hope to be able to grow on that success as an alternative to the traditional midway,” said Pryde.
On Friday night, a fireworks display took place on Lorne Street starting at 9 p.m. The pamphlet described this year’s fireworks as “bigger than ever!” The fireworks could be seen and heard across town and spanned for roughly half an hour.
The Town estimated over 8,000 people attended Family Day at the Doncaster Farm on Saturday. The rustic theme of the fair was set by playful fiddle and banjo music, as well as various events and attractions like the hay-bale maze, pony rides and the petting zoo as well as the corn sandbox. On Friday and Saturday nights, local musicians performed on Main St. in local pizza and Lebanese-food restaurant Goya’s parking lot.
“It was great to be able to partner with the [Mount Allison Students’ Union] and SappyFest to bring Mauno and Partner […] and draw a large contingent of Mt. A students to the tent on Friday,” said Pryde. Partner’s descriptive bio in the fair pamphlets raised some questions for some in the town, said Pryde. Their description in the pamphlet read, “Partner is genre-defying and terrifying, and is unflinching in its exploration of intimacy, friendship, sexuality, drugs and the existential predicament of being a lesbian barista in 2015.” “The Town were more than happy to have Partner play at the tent,” said Pryde of the criticism.
Other assorted events took place across multiple locations in town. Free Zumba was offered in the Mt. A pool, a pancake breakfast was hosted by the Sackville Legion, and a psychic medium offered 15-minute readings in Memorial Park.
The Town wants to continue to encourage the participation of students in these kinds of events. “[The students] are a huge part of our town, are a substantial portion of our volunteers and [they] bring new life to all of our events,” said Pryde. Fifth-year commerce student Sam Bliss received the youth citizen of the year award at the fair this year. This was not only an award for his assistance with the event at Doncaster Farm, but additionally for his involvement in local not-for-profits in addition to his mental-health advocacy.
“It was a huge success” said Pryde. “All events were very well attended.”
Citizens of Sackville gathered along Main Street to watch the third parade of the fair last Saturday afternoon. Sackville’s volunteer departments fire trucks led the parade, followed by a slew of antique cars. Although the parade was relatively disjointed, the children lining Main St. remained entertained by the mass amounts of candy being thrown in their direction. Various marching bands, air cadets and the volunteer fire departments of surrounding areas were forced to bypass solid waste left by horses that had walked through the Main and York St. intersection early in the parade. Many of the antique cars were also forced to weave around the horse feces. Moneris staff had a float during this particular parade and confused the theme of “Wild West” by wearing plaid but while also blasting “Uptown Funk.” Certainly the most intriguing part of the parade was the gang of men performing doughnuts in mini cars.
Acadien historical village
At Doncaster Farm last Saturday there were multiple examples of historical homage being paid to Sackville and the surrounding area’s history. Pictured above is the Acadien Historical Village located in Rivière du Nord, Que., which is located roughly 1,100 km from Sackville. The Acadien Historical Village is a living museum which portrays the daily lives of Acadians from 1770 all the way to 1949. Similarly, representatives from the Keillor House in Dorchester were also present. Keillor House is a representation of nineteenth-century life after the migration from Yorkshire to Nova Scotia. This group of immigrants was also among the first to settle in the Sackville area. During family day there were additional examples of the region’s history, such as an antique-tools display and a WWII-memorabilia display.
Any historical first-nations representation were seemingly left out of family day at the Doncaster Farm.
Dispersed throughout the fair were many local craft and food vendors. Pictured here is Vanessa Blackier, a Sackville artist, selling her embroidery work within Doncaster Farm on family day. Blackier’s embroidery embodies a kitschy “home” feel which incorporates doughnuts and inspiration from local musicians. Blackier said she enjoyed the event and being able to share her art with the community. “There were more people browsing and asking questions,” said Blackier, as opposed to actual customers. Other vendors offered various items like photographs of Sackville and the surrounding area, jams and various pickled vegetables, and henna tattoos.
Cows, chicken and sheep—oh my!
The field of Doncaster Farm was also host to a number of animals, including three cows, a chicken and two sheep. They additionally offered horseback rides throughout the day. The cows, Marianne, Bambi and Adidas, all had descriptions under their spots within the pen they were contained in. Marianne was the youngest cow and was described as nervous. Bambi, a Jersey cow, had attended previous fall fairs as a calf, and the third cow, Adidas, was pregnant with her second calf. Although representative of farm life, most animals appeared relatively nervous.
Feature Image, Taylor McCuaig/Argosy; all other photos provided by Photo Editor Allison Grogran/Argosy