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Images of the 2007 Markham Fair
article and photos by Grant Weaver, spent a day at the Markham Fair and enjoyed the wide variety of exhibits, events and demonstrations that make it a high point in the year for our community.

Markham farmer Barry Little with children
after giving a milking demonstration
Judy Shelley gives a sheep shearing demonstration
Hedy Edwards (in red shirt) with "Jim", an impressive Percheron
New arrivals Public relations volunteer
Karen Murphy
Delicious farm produce on display!
Wayne Ham, Tom Goldring and Elgin Malcolm
with vintage tractor
Bill Brown and Bob Macaloney with early 50's rotor baler
Millie Amos with vintage well driller
originally owned by her grandfather Gorden Fockler
Jodie and Meagan Beaudoin
from New Lowell, ready for the sack race
And they're off!
First Prize winning quilt by Peggy Kwan
and fair volunteer Lorna Sheeby
Yvette Piiparinen and Peggy Kwan of the
Markham Guild of Village Crafts
Mouthwatering pies! Landscape paintings (adult category)
Field trip of students from
A. G. Bell Public School in Ajax,
teacher Kathy Whitehead in center
and helper Lucky Choongh
Carol Trueman and Guelda Hitchen
staff the Christmas decoration exhibit
Eric Stevens with daughters Kailey and Makenzie
get a good view of the fair
Kieran Robichaud takes a camel ride
Magic Bus Hoisted to the sky by Power Stream
High flying skateboarder Mime Etenem Oton entertains the kids

The Markham Fire Department were on hand to give safety tips. 
With the vintage fire truck are (left to right) Cliff Holland,
George Macris, Adam Grant, Paul Sit and Jason Scovell

Arun Selvadurai from EMS
with Parry the Paramedic

            The first Markham Fair was held in 1844 and, 163 years later, it is one of the largest agricultural fairs in Canada. 

Before I started out on my explorations, Karen Murphy, chairman of the public relations and promotions committee, explained to me some of the history of the Markham Fair and the ideals that have made it so successful over the years.

First of all, even in the urbanizing era in which we live, the Fair has remained loyal to its agricultural roots.

“We are trying to keep agriculture a high priority,” she said.  “A lot of people who are from the city don’t understand where our food comes from, how our milk gets on the table.”

It’s not that the Fair does not adapt to urban growth. 

“As the world changes, we’re changing too,” she said.

For example, there are some events and attractions designed to draw families, and especially children, who are not from a farming tradition.  There’s a bike show, skateboarding demonstrations.  Dora the Explorer, the popular television character, will be at the Fair on Sunday.  But visitors will then have the opportunity of viewing, touching and experiencing the many agricultural exhibits and events and learning more about how food is produced.

These include cow milking and sheep shearing demonstrations.  At “Old MacDonald’s Farm” you will get up close to the whole range of farm livestock —baby chicks, pigs (including a sow with a nursing litter of twelve), sheep, goats, cattle and horses.

Visitors will also enjoy the wide variety of crafts and works of art produced locally by people of all ages.  And they won’t want to miss the exciting competitive events such as the light horse and heavy horse competitions and the tractor pull.

Many of the civic organizations that deliver vital services to the people of Markham are also on hand with eye-catching and informative displays, including the Markham Fire Department, Power Stream and York Emergency and Medical Services.

The Markham Fair is the largest four-day fair in Canada but operates on the strength of volunteers.  The Fair has only four employees.  Hundreds of volunteers staff its many organizational committees.  The twenty-four members of the Board of Directors are volunteer.  All make up what Karen Murphy called “the Markham Fair family”. 

In addition, through its far-sighted program of Junior Directors---up to twenty-one years of age---young people are given a chance to learn the ropes and will carry that experience over as they come of age and assume greater responsibilities.

Markham Fair has also worked with York Region Transit to make the fair more accessible.  There are YRT buses shuttling from Markville Mall and main street Stouffville.

There’s still one more day so come on out and enjoy our agricultural roots.


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