100th Elementary School Fair shines upon return
BY DENNY SCOTT
Despite some inclement weather, the 100th Elementary School Fair in Belgrave went well, according to organizing board President Margaret Vincent.
Just as the parade for the annual event was set to start on Sept. 21, the skies opened and significant rainfall hit the community, forcing the cancellation of the parade and moving the opening ceremonies inside the Belgrave Community Centre instead of the nearby baseball diamond. Regardless of the weather, however, Vincent said the event was a success.
“I think things went really well,” she said. “The strong community and student turnout, in spite of the weather, proved that. The one joke I made, when we sent the order for the weather, was we must have said 1 p.m. for the sunshine instead of 11 a.m.”
That strong community turnout included representatives from more schools than in recent memory she said, including Brookside Public, Hullett Central Public, F.E. Madill, Maitland River Elementary and Sacred Heart Wingham schools, as well as Cornerstone Schoolhouse from Clinton.
She said the games, activities and displays went over well with lots of smiles and laughing, especially around the livestock shows.
“Having to move the opening ceremonies indoors really animated the children throughout the rest of the day,” she said. “When they got outside, they were excited to make memories and take advantage of the hands-on opportunities for the students.”
The weather, however, did take its toll, she said, with a few elements of the show either being moved, like the outdoor lunch booth, or canceled like the parade.
Having all the students indoors, however, did make sure that the exhibits, provided by those same students, received significant interest while the students waited for the opening ceremonies to take place, Vincent said.
As far as changes to the fair, which hasn’t been held since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Vincent said there weren’t many things that needed to be done aside from having hand sanitizer available. She said the fact that the event is mostly outdoors, typically, played into that.
She also said that not being able to host the fair since 2019 highlighted the impact COVID-19 has had on community groups, as some local organizations that are facing volunteer shortages weren’t able to help out as they have in the past.
“Hopefully, by the time we mark the 101st fair, there will be more volunteers for those groups as they are always excited to help out,” she said. Watch future issues of The Citizen for results from the fair.