Old and new at Paris Fair

By Michael-Allan Marion, Brantford Expositor

PARIS – Organizers of the 159th edition of the Paris Fair are offering visitors to Brant County’s largest social and agricultural event a combination of new and established attractions.

The “new” in the Thursday to Monday exhibition features a concert by headliner the James Barker Band. They’re playing at the Grandstand on Sunday at 8 p.m.

“We’re thrilled to have them here,” said Cheryl Muir, manager of the Paris Agricultural Society which runs the fair.

“They’re an emerging talent on the Canadian country scene. We were very fortunate to book them last fall. Since we booked them, they’ve continued to increase their profile.”

The country group formed in Ontario. Made up of James Barker, Taylor Abram, Connor Stephen and Bobby Martin, the foursome won the Emerging Artist Showcase at the Boots and Hearts music festival in 2015. The following year, they were signed to Universal Music Canada.

The group is best known for its Top 10 singles Lawn Chair Lazy and Just Sayin’. They released their debut extended play, Game On, in April.

“It’s good when we can get something that fresh to attract people to our fair,” said Muir.

In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, Sunday’s concert is included with gate admission. Visitors are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs.

“Our headline act fills the grandstand every time and lots of folks bring lawn chairs to make sure they have a good time listening,” said Muir.

Regulars at the fair will enjoy one of its most established attractions – the demolition derby. There are three dates with collision this year. The first demo is called Tate’s Night of Destruction on Friday at 7 p.m. in front of the Grandstand. It’s sponsored by Tate’s Automotive Inc.

The other two are on Saturday at 7 p.m., sponsored by Mike Yarek Dodge and Sibbick Fuels; and the fair closer on Monday at 7 p.m., sponsored by Mike Yarek Dodge.

The fair will have a soft opening on Wednesday when the Campbell Amusements Midway opens at 6 p.m. The exhibit halls are closed so exhibitors can bring their entries in between 2:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. to be arranged.

Thursday is open night and Toonie Night.

The gates open at 3 p.m. The midway opens at 6 p.m. All rides cost $2. The display halls and vendor halls open at 6 p.m., along with the Molson Canadian Live Beer Gardens.

At 6:30 p.m., dairy aficionados can catch the first coloured breeds presentation, the Brant-Wentworth Holstein Show.

The fair’s official opening ceremony starts at 7 p.m.

The Paris Fair Ambassador competition is at 7:30 p.m. in the Exhibition Hall.

Those not watching the ambassador competition can catch the Ontario Mini Rods in front of the Grandstand at the same time.

The Ontario Mini Rod Pullers Association has been making the rounds of county fairs for the past decade. A mini-rod is a smaller tractor that is completely home built using automotive-type engines. They deliver a performance that is a cross of a tractor pull and drag racing.

Friday is Bracelet Day. Get all-you-can-ride bracelets for $30 apiece. They are good from noon, when the midway opens, until 7 p.m.

The gates open at 8 a.m. with the Brant Junior Farmers Association putting on a breakfast until noon.

Watch the 4-H Dairy Show in the Cattle Rings at 11 a.m. to see how farming youth are learning bovine husbandry skills.

Or go at the same time to the Exhibition Hall to enjoy Fiddlin’ Good Times. Listen to young fiddling sensation Jessica Wedden, then Fund Fifties music by Two of a Kind.

Other attractions on Friday

. Free Style Motocross or the Craz-E-Crew BMX Stunt Team in shows at noon, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

. The Ultimutts Stunt Dog Show at 1 p.m. in the Curling Club.

. Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo shows Animals of the Rainforest at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. It also plays at the same times Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Saturday’s highlights

. Brant Junior Farmers breakfast from 8 a.m. to noon.

. 8:30 am. - English Horse Show in the Valley Rings.

. 9 a.m. - Cash and Carry Classic barrel racing in the Valley Rings.

. 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. - 4-H Goat Show at in the Sheep Ring.

. 9 a.m. - Poultry Judging at 9 a.m. in the Poultry Barn.

. 9 a.m. - Light Horse Show sponsored in the Grandstand Concert Bowl.

. 10 a.m. - 4-H in the Cattle Ring.

. 10 a.m. - Paw Patrol Characters Chase, Marshall and Skye in the Exhibition Centre.

The Road to the Royal Chef Demonstration and Taste Testing is an updated event from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Exhibition Centre, says fair manager Cheryl Muir. The Royal Agriculture Winter Fair brings in chefs to demonstrate culinary delights.

“Their goal is to support local food production through demonstrations and provision of free samples.

This program is generally well attended. We anticipate even more will come this year with the sample.”

On Sunday, along with the headliner James Barker Band in Concert visitors can view the following highlights:

. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. - The Photobooth allows people to strike a pose and celebrate “Canada 150 at the Fair” with photo memories of the fun to take home.

. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Lunch available from the Paris Agricultural Society Homecraft division in the Exhibition Centre.

. 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. – Dinner at the Fair – a home-cooked roast beef meal prepared by the Homecraft division.

Highlights on Monday include:

. 8 a.m. to noon - Brant Junior Farmers breakfast.

. 9 a.m. - OBRA international Barrel Racing in the Valley Rings.

. 9 a.m.- Cash and Carry Classic Barrel Racing in the Valley Rings.

. 9 a.m.- Baby Show registration (three months to 10 months).

. 9 a.m. - Heavy Horse Show at the Grandstand.

. 10 a.m. - Sheep Show and Exhibition in the Sheep Ring.

. Noon - Jersey Show in the Cattle Ring.

. 12:30 p.m. - Ayrshire Show in the Cattle Ring.

. 1 p.m. - Classic Six Horse Hitch Show, sponsored by Landsborough Auctions at the Grandstand.

. 7 p.m. – Mike Yarek Dodge presents Canada’s #1 Demolition Derby with pro stock, mini-smash and feature heat night of metal on metal action, at the Grandstand.