by Festival Nomad “Scoop” Correspondent, Judi McWilliams

If a live, energetic fun filled family day at a country fair sounds intriguing … wait until you find out what the Port Perry Fair has to offer. If you have been to Port Perry you will know all about the quaint town. If you have already been to the Port Perry Fair you will already know about this quaint fair packed with entertainment and fun!

Port Perry rests on the shores of Lake Scugog just north of Oshawa about an hour from Toronto. Downtown Port Perry is a destination for many weekend travelers looking for a small town, unique feel. It offers quaint shops, boutiques, heritage, bistros and more.

The fairgrounds, just outside this little town, are easy to find and this day the cars lined the roadways all around the perimeter of the grounds. The midway was in full swing, the sounds of laughter and the smells great “fair” food welcomed us. A few laps around the grounds and we found a spot to park, right near a side entrance. A “Petting Zoo” and “Pony Rides” added to the delight of everyone.

The Port Perry Fair offers Harness Horse Racing, with betting fun for all. We arrived in a field where the horses were being hitched up at their trailers and the jockeys were dressing in their racing gear. They had assistants helping hitching up and the hustle and bustle here was “fast and furious”! We were able to take some great shots from “behind the scenes”. Reluctantly we move on from the action and found ourselves walking down a dirt path, past the many food vendors and buildings.

The midway was located on the inner track and we waited with the crowds for a race to end until the gates opened to allow the visitors to pass through. Here much laughter and fun was all around. For me, my favorite displays were the cattle, sheep, goats, horse and such. Low wooden gates housed the majestic livestock, with the waiting cattle eager to be judged in the 4-H Dairy Show and Beef Show. Being that close to these animals, in a natural setting, was thrilling. Activity was all around offering a great chance to snap some great close-up shots.

Music drew us to a covered area with lots of seating. Here we watched in amazement as the “Outback Cloggers” entertained the crowds. Later that day “Tim Holland Puppet Tamer” entertained the kids and then we all enjoyed “Foggy Hogtown Boys” bluegrass band.

Agricultural and Craft Demonstrations, an Agricultural Tent and the Women’s Institute Hospitality Corner added to the enjoyment of the day. The Festival Nomad (a.k.a. Gary) wondered off back to the grandstands to take in a few races and I ventured to the end of the track. I was surprised but delighted to find a spot right at the bend at the start/finish of the races. From my vantage point I could see the jockey rides still “hitching up” and got some amazing shots from the race. We had our “walkie talkies” with us and it was a great way to communicate. Gary was able to help me with the timing to get the great shots as he gave me the heads up to look at the right times. It also helped up stay “in touch” during the day as at times we were separated, as we often have different interests and wanted to watch different events.

This Labour Day Weekend was full of crowds now about to watch the evening “Demolition Derby” and then enjoy the sounds of “Riki Knox” and “Dallas Smith”. For us though, the day had drawn long and we headed home for the day. We hope to return next year to enjoy this very quaint Port Perry Fall Fair!

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