Norfolk Fair recorded best attendance ever

The Norfolk Agricultural Scoiety's annual report features a colourful photo of a midway ride on the cover. The report says the 179th Norfolk County Fair last fall posted a profit of $59,000 while the agricultural society's net financial position topped $2 million in assets. File photo/Postmedia Network jpg, DN

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The Norfolk Agricultural Society reported a solid year at its recent annual general meeting, one that featured record attendance at last fall’s Norfolk County Fair.

“To say this fair was amazing, spectacular, remarkable, outstanding, memorable and unforgettable wouldn’t do the 2019 fair justice,” Debbie Morrison of Waterford said in the president’s annual report.

“One could not have asked for better weather and it truly does make all the difference in the world.

“A record number of patrons came through the gates during the seven days of the fair (Oct. 8-14). Over 123,000 patrons breaks all the other records.

“Friends and family coming home for Thanksgiving are making the Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show a must-do event while they are here. Thank you to all those who attended.”

Good weather and good attendance make for a solid bottom line. An audited financial statement says the Norfolk Agricultural Society posted a profit last year of $59,000.

In its report, Millard, Rouse and Rosebrugh Chartered Accountants, of Simcoe, noted that the agricultural society’s net asset position from 2018 to 2019 improved from $1.99 million to $2.06 million.

George Araujo, general manager of the Norfolk County Fair, thanked a generous community and strong support from Norfolk’s provincial partners for making the event the fourth largest of its kind in Ontario.

The audited statement notes that the agricultural society’s gross asset position in terms of property and equipment stood at $6.04 million at the end of 2019 prior to amortization.

“The province of Ontario – through Celebrate Ontario and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs – provides key funding opportunities that support the fair and infrastructure,” Araujo says in the general manager’s report.

“Businesses in our region know the importance of the programming and facilities we provide and – through their sponsorship – they are committed to their neighbours and visitors and we provide opportunities for them to engage with a greater community. All of this brings a focus on the heritage and culture, both historically, now and into the future.”

Araujo says the agricultural society invested more than $440,000 in buildings and facilities in 2019 at its 50-acre fairground on South Drive in Simcoe. Highlights include large horse show pens in the middle of the track next to the Homecraft building, the installation of new transformers, and the burying of unsightly hydro wires.

The 2020 fair executive was also affirmed at the Jan. 25 meeting. Morrison returns for a second year as president while Steven Balcomb remains as first vice president. Brad Nunn will serve as second vice president while Brian Kenney remains as the immediate past president.

The ag society’s annual general meeting is traditionally an occasion to remember past citizens who helped build the fair into what it is today. On the honour roll were the late Ginger Stanley, Fred Kent, Carol Meade, Russell Smith, J.H. Thompson, Fred Erwin, John Malo, William Watt, Perry Sowden and Clifford Hare.

 

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