The 138th Carman Country Fair will be held July 13-15 with old favourites like the Wonder Shows Midway and some brand new additions to the schedule too. (FILE/VALLEY LEADER)
It’s that time of year again. The Carman Country Fair is fast approaching and will be in full swing July 13, 14 and 15.
This will be a year to remember with a new group of people on the committee, said John Goff, President of the Dufferin Agricultural Society (DAS).
“We have a very enthusiastic new group of people that have started and the fair is going to grow and flourish over the next few years,” he said.
With a new committee comes change. Goff is excited about the changes they have lined up to help revitalize the fair and the community. These changes include free fries donated by local potato farmers, temporary expansion of the campground, upgrades to the heavy horse barn, and a Truck Pull for Mental Health.
It is these new initiatives that have the potential to invigorate the fair by helping those in the community, increasing awareness about issues that affect the community and bringing the community together all while making the fair more financially sustainable.
Sponsors step up
Goff said that local businesses have really showed up and helped out through sponsorship.
“[Sponsors] have come forward in a big way so far. Right now, we are about 150 per cent of donations from last year already,” he said. “We are really excited about the contributions that sponsors have given us.”
The Truck Pull for Mental Health is an example of how this year’s fair aims to be more financially sustainable.
“We’ve developed some entertainment like the truck pull that’s going to really bring the community together with local people, raise money for a good cause and not be a huge entertainment cost,” Goff said.
The truck pull will be a key event for the fair where teams of ten members from the community and local businesses will compete on the clock. All proceeds will go to a local charity group that works with mood disorders.
Integrating awareness and fundraising events into the fair that go toward mental health initiatives are extremely important for the community.
“Mental health has really impacted our community here. Not just in the past couple years but for a long time,” he said. “We need to be putting focus towards it if we’re going to solve some of these problems and stigmas and have places for people to get help. We want to be leaders recognizing that and bringing awareness.”
Goff also aims to increase agricultural awareness and educate people on how agriculture affects the local economy and community. The free French fries throughout the weekend will help with this goal.
“We have a local agronomy company and provincial experts doing displays and answering questions in the free fry line to teach people how potatoes are grown, how French fries are produced, and how it affects our local economy,” he said. “We want to educate people while they’re waiting for free French fries.”
Agriculture is central to a flourishing community for Goff.
“Having young kids who are getting involved in 4-H and being a farmer myself makes me realize how important agriculture is for our community and how important our children are,” he said. “A local fair is kind of part of that.”
Goff hopes that the community will come out and support the great work the DAS has been doing.
“[The fair] is the one big event a year that brings everyone together in Carman,” he said.
To join a team for the Truck Pull for Mental Health, contact Warren McCutcheon at 204-751-0188 or Tyler Russel at 204-745-7102.
To book a camp site in the extended camping space or for general fair information, call Jodi Winkler at 204-745-2226.
For more information about the Carman Country Fair including the schedule of events, visit their website at www.carmancountryfair.ca or like their Facebook page.