Help create some old-fashioned fun: the Stisted Fall Fair welcomes new volunteers, board members

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Main photo: The 2018 Stisted Fall Fair award winners were celebrated at Muskoka Landing on October 25: (back from left) associate director Bill Spring, exhibit winner Jon Baker, associate director Sandra Strongman, exhibit winners Linda Brodie and Krista Yearley, associate directors Linda Hayes and Florence Smith; (front from left) exhibit winners Madeline Villard, Ava Medland, Micah Oliveira, Isaias Oliveira, Islette Grieb, Beckett Grieb, Payton Yearley, and Jackson Yearley. See a list of their awards at the end of this post. (Missing from photo: Michelle Lomas, Terry Savory, Doreen Stainton, and Ross Stead.)

The Stisted Agricultural Society is holding its annual general meeting (AGM) on November 22 at 7 p.m. at Muskoka Landing. This is a perfect opportunity for people to get on board with the tiny fair that has the biggest country heart.

“The AGM is for anyone who wants to come out and have a voice,” says Stisted Agricultural Society president Jeanine Spring.

Spring and her husband, Bill, have been involved in the Stisted Fall Fair for decades. They have seen the fair grow bigger and better every year and it has never once compromised its reputation for being old-fashioned fun for the whole family.

The thing about the Stisted Fall Fair is that it’s like one, big family picnic. People look forward to it.Jeanine Spring, president of the Stisted Agricultural Society

And that’s something that fair organizers have tried to embrace since the inception of the fair more than 130 years ago. There’s no other fair like it in this area; it maintains that old-fashioned feel with no electricity and no midway. Instead, fair-goers engage themselves in a variety of timeless games such as running and potato-sack races, three-legged races and tug-o-wars.

There are small money prizes for the game winners. Financial rewards are also offered to those who put entries in the exhibits. And the exhibits are never short of amazing, proving that this area has a high-calibre of creative talent. The horse show has steadily gained popularity as well. This year saw 20 horses competing in various categories with a special appearance from Icelandic ponies as a highlight.

“I think the other reason why it’s really catching on is younger people with their families are realizing we have a great growing season here,” says Spring. “It’s about being a part of the back-to-roots and back-to-the-land movement.”

That’s why she has chosen to be involved in the fair. She believes in preserving the whole idea of why the fair was originally started by the pioneers.

“One hundred and thirty years ago, this was their recreation,” she said. “They would come to the fairgrounds with their biggest pumpkin or best apples and it was all in good fun. They would stay for the whole weekend.”

Calling the fair a “great, affordable thing” (admission is only $3 for adults and free for children 14 years and under), Spring said that they are always on the lookout for people who are passionate about keeping this old-fashioned fair alive to join the board of directors or to become an associate director. The difference between the two is that board members are required to attend monthly meetings and associate directors are simply “called upon when help is needed… for baking or whatever.”

Anyone can attend the upcoming AGM. Those who are interested in becoming a volunteer for the Stisted Fall Fair can call Jeanine Spring at 705-789-2972.


The 2018 Stisted Fall Fair award winners are:

Kyle Labadie – Most points Overall in the Horse Show

Ava Medland – Most Points Youth in the Horse Show

Micah Oliveira – Most points, Junior Arts & Crafts, ages 7 & 8; 3rd Most points, Junior Veg, Fruits & Flowers; 3rd Most points, Junior Photography; 2nd most points, Junior Baking, ages 8 & under; Most Points Overall Junior Fair

Payton Yearley – Most points, Junior Poultry; Judge’s Choice Junior Photography; Most points Jr. Photography; 2nd most points Arts & Crafts, 6 & under; 2nd most points Overall Jr. Fair; Most points Baking, ages 8 & under

Isaias Oliveira – 3rd most points Junior Arts & Crafts, 6 & under; 2nd Most points Junior Veg, Fruit & Flowers; 2nd most points  Junior Photography; 2nd most points Junior Baking, 8 & under; 3rd most points Overall Jr. Fair

Jackson Yearley – 3rd most points, Junior Pets & Rabbits; Most Points, Junior Poultry; Most points Arts & Crafts, 6 & under; 3rd most points, Baking 8 & under

Michelle Lomas – Most Points  Jr. Pets & Rabbits; Most Points Junior Vegetables, Fruit & Flowers

Beckett Grieb – 3rd most points, Junior Arts & Crafts, ages 7 & 8

Maddie Villard – Fair Book Cover Design, 1st; Most points, Junior Arts & Crafts, ages 9 & 10

Linda Hayes – Most points Preserves; Most points Roots & Vegetables; Most points Flowers; Yvonne Ballantine Award for Best Rose; Judge’s Choice Photography; Most Points Photography; W.H. Demaine Award for excellence and participation

Bill Spring – Most Unusual Vegetable

Jon Baker – Most points Poultry; Most points Rabbits

Krista Yearley – Most Points Photography

The Yearley Family – The Stan Darling Award for Family Achievement

Linda Brodie – Most Points Quilting; Grand Champion, Hand Quilt; Judge’s Choice award, quilting

Terry Savory – Largest Pumpkin

Florence Smith – Most Points Knitting; Most Points Crocheting; Most Points Sewing

Sandra Strongman – Most Points, Grains, Seeds & Fruits; Most Points, Baking

Doreen Stainton – Most Points Arts & Crafts

Ross Stead – Most points Maple Products

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