PORT PERRY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY
The Board of Directors of the Port Perry Agricultural Society and many additional volunteers organize and run the Port Perry Fair. The Society, first established in 1856, is a member of the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies. This year we celebrate our 159th Anniversary.
We always welcome new Board Members and volunteers – a great way to get involved in your community and have fun! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org on how to be a part of the Port Perry Fair or click on our Supporting the Fair page for additional information.
Fairs began as a place of fellowship, exhibition and trade. Ever since the invention of oxen and carts, or boats capable of carrying goods, market places have sprung up at agreed-upon places and times. Fairs were temporary things of a few days, and had to deal with bad roads and bandits along the way. They could operate only under the protection of a strong war Lord or Count. (Indeed, that is where the word ‘county’ comes from.) The Count would extract a fair ‘fee’ from the participants for his protection. Fairs differed from carnivals and markets in that there was major emphasis on exhibition and fellowship as well as trade. Carnivals were more apt to be theme ‘entertainment’. Many towns grew around the places where at first there were only periodic fairs, carnivals or markets.
Agricultural Fairs specialized in agricultural products and needs. There were only a few times during a year when the farmer was free enough from the demands of keeping livestock, or tending fields, to make the difficult trip along rustic tracks to a distant fair. People in the business of buying what the farms produced (and those selling ot farmers what they needed) would try to attend many fairs and brought with them enough comforts to entertain themselves and others to make attending the fairs both fun as well as profitable. Impromptu athletic contests and races would evolve into an evening of singing and dancing.
At the turn of the century, a County would typically divide it’s agricultural areas into local regions of no more than 12 or 15 miles in diameter, which was about the distance a farmer could travel in a day to bring his produce. And so, originally there were many little Township Fairs. The Province of Ontario still has some 233 local fairs run by local Agricultural Societies.
For a list of all the fairs in our area (called District 4 with the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies) go to Ontario Fairs website.
THE FAIR WHERE URBAN MEETS RURAL
Our fair is a wonderful blend of traditional agricultural exhibits featuring competitions and many prizes. We provide beautiful fairgrounds in the heart of a small Ontario town with fun activities for the entire family. See our Events page for ideas on what you can see, do and exhibit.
The competitions are open to everyone, with age rules for some categories, so bring your beautiful vegetables, even if you are a ‘backyard farmer’. Every year we publish the Fair Book with all of the classes for entry and potential prize money to be won, rules and entry forms. Check out the Fair Book page for more information.
*Thank you to The Scugog Standard for use of their pictures on the website.