By Seth DuChene
The long weekend’s unstable weather translated into diminished attendance at the 186th Napanee Fair — but it didn’t seem to dampen the mood.
As the final numbers were being tallied on Monday afternoon, Lennox Agricultural Society President Carol McKinley predicted that the numbers would show fewer people visited the Napanee Fair than in previous years, and she pointed to the weather as the reason why.
In fact, heavy rains on Sunday forced the cancellation of the heavy horse pull that evening, one of the more popular attractions at the annual fair. She said the decision to shut the pull down was done to protect the safety of the horses.
Despite the weather challenges, traditional attendance still attracted a crowd, said McKinley, most notably the demolition derby on Monday. She also said that the country music concert on Sunday was a success. The show — which featured Jason Benoit and Craig Curtis, along with a cash bar and separate ticketing from fair itself — was the biggest new addition to the Napanee Fair. Building on what they learned from Sunday night’s show, McKinley says she expects the fair will bring something similar back again next year.
“For our first attempt, I think from here on it out will go smoothly,” she said.
Monday’s demolition derby served as an opportunity to honour the official voice of the derby, Elsie Dowdle. Dowdle was presented with the first ever Gino’s Pizza ‘Gino’s Giant’ volunteer award, in recognition of her hours of volunteering with the demolition derby and other causes. Don Parkinson of Gino’s Pizza said that the new annual award will be known as the ‘Elsie’ after this year.