If you are missing the usual build-up to the Vankleek Hill Fair, there is some good news. Some events have been organized in August.  They won’t quite replace the fair, but should provide some fun and entertainment.

What to do this year instead of holding the annual fair has been the subject of several Zoom meetings held by fair board volunteers.

And so, a few activities are in the works: an outdoor display competition, an antique tractor parade, musical entertainment online from the bands originally scheduled to perform at the fair, a colouring contest and a geocaching activity for kids are happening this month. (See the colouring sheets at the end of this story; download them, or stop in at the rear entrance of The Review to pick up copies.

Completed colouring sheets should be emailed to [email protected]. Note that they will not be judged. There will be a random draw for prizes from all participants. Submissions should include a name and contact # or email so that the fair organizers can get in touch should they win a prize. The deadline to enter is August 14th; the draw will take place on Saturday, August 15th.
Winners’ colouring sheets will be posted on the Vankleek Hill Fair Facebook page.

An activity which involves the entire community is a lawn or outdoor display competition, aptly titled “Missing the Vankleek Hill Fair. See you in 2021.”


Everyone is invited to participate and show their love of the Vankleek Hill Fair, says coordinator and fair board volunteer Valerie Allen.

“We’re inviting people to try to recreate their favourite moments from the fair with a lawn display, signage and/or a hopeful message of the end of the pandemic and return of the fair in 2021,” says Allen.

The deadline to have your display and register is August 10, 2020. (See the information at the end of this article to find out all the details, including how to register.)

Entertainment will take place on the Vankleek Hill Fair’s Facebook page on Friday, August 14 and on Saturday, August 15 starting at 7 p.m.

On Friday at 7 p.m., catch a solo performance by Andrew Charlebois of the Charlie Andrews Band, followed by a performance by Mariner’s Curse. Each performance will last between 20 and 30 minutes.

On Saturday at 7 p.m., the Keystrings will perform, followed by Hadrian’s Wall.

Antique Tractor Parade on Sunday, August 16

An antique tractor parade is also in the works — planned for Sunday, August 16, beginning at 1 p.m. and departing from the Vankleek Hill Fairgrounds. A detailed plan has been submitted to the Eastern Ontario Health Unit and organizers are asking for cooperation from participants and the public to ensure that everything (including the antique tractors) runs smoothly.

The parade will begin and end at the Vankleek Hill Fairgrounds. Entries will arrive between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to allow for social distancing as they enter the fairgrounds. There will be a maximum of two individuals per tractor permitted onto the fairgrounds. A maximum of 100 persons, including fair volunteers, will be permitted on the grounds.

It is important to note that participants must register ahead of time, by email, including the names and phone numbers of the individuals who will be entering the fairgrounds. The registration email address is: [email protected]

Gate personnel will have a checklist of entries and people will check in at the gate as they arrive.

As tractors and individuals arrive, the tractors will be directed to line up in designated areas to keep them safely distanced from other entries, waiting for parade departure time.

Safety Measures:

  • Gate personnel speaking with entrants will be masked as they take attendance of those arriving.
  • A list of participants will be maintained to assist with “contact tracing” should it be needed in the future.
  • Areas for lining up the tractors will be marked with tape/pickets/chalk to ensure social distancing between parked tractors.
  • All participants will be asked to keep an appropriate social distance from other participants.
  • All participants will be asked to provide a face mask for when they are on the fairgrounds, and may have to interact with organizers.
  • Organizers will have masks if they need to go close to entries to interact with the drivers.
  • During the parade, the tractors are large enough to naturally ensure social distancing between participants.
  • Through media and social media coverage, prior to the event, we will advise the public of our parade route and ask them to social distance themselves along the parade route and avoid crowding. Spectators may also choose to stay in their vehicles to observe the parade.

 Other Details:

  • The parade will last approximately 45 minutes.
  • No visitors will be permitted on the fairgrounds.
  • The Vankleek Hill Fire Department will assist with traffic control, as well as escorting the parade at the beginning and at the end.

Parade Route

The proposed route is as follows:

Leave the Fairgrounds by the back entrance onto Pendleton Street.

Proceed to Mill Street, cross Highway 34, continue along Mill Street.

Proceed through the arena parking lot, left onto Wall Street at the back of the arena to pass the Heritage Lodge.

The parade will then turn left onto Union Street, followed by a right (east) onto Mill Street. Proceed with a left (north) turn onto Jay Street. The parade will then cross Main Street onto Stanley Street, turning left, (west), at Higginson Street, followed by turning left (south) onto Home Avenue.

The parade will turn right (west) onto Main Street and proceed to the Fairgrounds at 92 Main Street West.

Parade organizers emphasize the following:

  • Pre-registration is required with contact information.
  • Entries will need to be limited due to COVID 19 restrictions.
  • Only participants (no guests) will be allowed on the fair grounds.
  • Social Distancing will must be adhered to by the public along the parade route.

Outdoor Display Competition: Contest Rules and How to Enter

The contest is open to Families and Businesses

Single Home/Farm Display/Signage/Scarecrow.

Cash prizes in each class as follows:
1st place $150, 2nd place $100, 3rd place $50

CONTEST RULES & HOW TO ENTER:

  1. To be eligible for prize money, the following must be included in your display: “VANKLEEK HILL FAIR” and be large enough to read from a passing vehicle.
  2. To be considered for judging, entries can be emailed to [email protected] by August 10, 2020. Please include your contact information and civic address of display. For questions, email above or call 613-678-3274.
  3. All entries must be on display from August 14th to August 16th, (traditionally Fair Week)
  4. Entries will be judged AUGUST 14th, 2020.
  5. It is a our hope that a map of entries will be published in the Vankleek Hill Review and on the Fair social media channels, so the general public can do a drive-by of all of the entries at their leisure.
  6. Open to residents of Prescott County

 TIPS FOR MAKING A GREAT SCARECROW/OUTDOOR DISPLAY!

  • Get creative and plan ahead! It’ll be more fun to put together if you’re ready and have all materials on hand!
  • How well does it tie in to the contest theme (ie. missing the fair; thank you to essential workers, etc.)?
  • Think BIG! Make it easy for anyone passing by to spot your display.
  • LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!! Please place where it will be easily found.
  • Be BOLD! No reason to hold back on flashy colours, let your inner Diva out!
  • Partner up or do as a group activity with your kids, friends, neighbors, co-workers!
  • Clear signage is an absolute must! Is it easy to read? Big enough?
  • Use what you’ve got! Farm equipment, rustic containers, fencing, etc. Why re-invent the wheel?!

Most importantly, HAVE FUN!!! This is meant to be simple country fun to be enjoyed by all and hopefully put a smile on people’s faces as they get around our beautiful little piece of countryside!

Thanks to all who take the time to put a display together!  Residents and visitors will love to see the displays while they’re out and about!