Review columnist Laura Barton with her littler farmer during the Peewee classes at the Vankleek Hill Agricultural Fair. “These are moments we remember forever,” Barton says. Photo: Reid Masson

Wow! What a whirlwind of a weekend, the 178th Vankleek Hill Fair was!

I think it’s safe to say everyone was pretty excited to have the full fair back this year. Every corner you went on the grounds, there seemed to always be crowds of people. It was great to see! The best part of the weekend of course is always the Peewee class during the Holstein show. It is the biggest class in the show, and it is always so great seeing so many young kids come out with their calves. It has been a tradition for years for so many of our local farm families and it’s always great to see the next generation continue on the tradition.

Helping my littler farmer ‘show’ his calf this year brought back so many memories of the years my dad helped me. Having him there to trailer the calf to the grounds and watch was also extra special. I have a whole new appreciation for all the time he put in to helping us with our calves over the years. It isn’t easy – especially when fair time is usually during third cut and straw season. Plus, he also used to bring his own string of cows. So, we were pretty lucky he still made time to help us out, especially in our early years.

My little farmer may have been more interested in keeping the crowd entertained by posing for pictures on the ground, wrapping the
lead strap around his neck, and choosing to do his own thing, but at least mommy was there to hold the calf, and he still had a good time! Making sure he enjoys himself is the most important part. These are the moments we remember forever.

To our family, the fair is much more than spending the whole weekend in the midway. Supporting the livestock shows and the kids’ programs are so important. So much hard work goes into planning these events, making sure the animals are show ready and properly fed and watered, especially on scorching days like we had this year. Our agricultural fair has grown in so many ways, but the livestock shows are becoming harder to keep going, so it important that events such as the peewee show continue. Hopefully their interest remains and they will be future 4Hers!

The fair weekend is a very long and exhausting weekend for many, but also very rewarding and of course a really good time! There’s something for everyone to see, no matter your age. Congratulations to everyone who put all the hard work into making the return of this year’s fair a huge success and thank you to everyone in the communities for coming out and supporting it!