The Annual Richmond Fair:  modernizing a 174 year old institution

NNew and exciting things are happening at the 174th Richmond Fair.  Perhaps you won’t notice some of the little changes but they are designed to bring the Fair into the 21st century.  Under the leadership of President David Brown the Board set an ambitious goal to update and modernize the fair. It has been operating virtually unchanged since the 1970’s.

According to Brown

Change is coming but history is very important.  As the village of Richmond celebrates 200 years of history, the Richmond Fair has taken the opportunity to modernize features of the Fair with the hopes of continuing to offer activities and family favorites to our growing community.

What sort of changes will you see?  Some are already evident like the electronic sign on Perth St. The Truck and Tractor pull event on June 29-30th brings a major new event to Richmond to kick off the summer. There will be everything from truck & tractor pulls to snowmobile races, kids events, a live band, camping and a beer tent.

Other changes are less evident.  For example, for the first time interact and credit cards will be accepted at the Fair. The ever popular 50/50 draw is week-end long and will be sold using “smart” electronic devices. You won’t have to stay onsite to receive the results.  On the “invisible list” is a recent upgrade to water and electrical lines throughout the fairgrounds. Still to come are a new website and a new social media strategy.

This year, in honour of Richmond’s bicentennial, the RCMP Musical Ride will perform their iconic Sunset Ceremony on Wednesday evening. On Thursday, come out to watch the Smash’em Up, Crash’em Up Demolition Derby. On Friday night, the Richmond Fair welcomes back the crowd favorite –  Ambush! Saturday afternoon entertainment features Ottawa’s own, and versatile, Tony True Band. On Saturday night, head-liner, Emerson Drive, will be performing on stage in the Beer Gardens. Also, on Saturday night, Robertsons Amusements will be sponsoring a Fireworks display.

Throughout the weekend, Fair-goers will be able to purchase and enjoy helicopter rides over the skies of Richmond. Those with a sharp eye will be able to participate in the Outdoor Backyard Axe throwing competition. As always you will be able to watch Cattle, Horse and Sheep shows!

In the Agricultural Awareness building, patrons will be invited to learn about our agricultural heritage and farming practices from all of the experts that are on hand to answer your questions.

In Kiddyland, Fair-goers will be entertained by the talents of magician Michael Bourada. The Fair is also welcoming back long-time friends the Little Buckaroos! As always, face painting and the petting zoo will be in Kiddyland.

Be sure to stop by the Homecraft building to see all of the other fantastic exhibits submitted by the community.

For those with mobility challenges the Fair has 75 handicap parking spots. Just park and volunteers will pick you up at your car with a tractor and cart.  Demonstrating their commitment to seniors Fair volunteers will be providing wagon rides from homes in the area on Friday.

It is sometimes easy to forget, when it is run largely by volunteers, that the Fair is a business.  It has to make money to secure its’ financial future. The Board works diligently to ensure that future. As funds become available they will be reinvested in modernization initiatives now underway, buildings and infrastructure onsite. The facility is a well used facility hosting events such as the upcoming Richmond200 celebrations June 15-17, dog shows, the fiddle and step competition to name a few.

Leaving the final word to President Brown

I welcome everyone to this year’s 174th Annual Richmond Fair.

I thank our Board of Directors and our volunteers who put countless hours into planning and organizing the Fair every year. Without the dedication and enthusiasm of our volunteers, the Fair would not be possible. We are always looking for volunteers.  We are a Community based organization and need new faces and new ideas.

All of this would not be possible without the tremendous financial support of our Sponsors. Their generosity ensures that the volunteers of the Agricultural Society can host the Fair year after year while offering family fun and entertainment to our community.

With so much to see and do, our family welcomes yours to the 174th Annual Richmond Fair.

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