Honouring frontline workers and First Nations – Shawville Fair returns for special edition

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The Belgian 6 horse hitch of the Stead Family of Lanark, ON trots into the ring for the heavy horse show at the 2019 Shawville fair.

J-D Potié

SHAWVILLE – The Shawville Fair is returning for its 165th edition this Labour Day weekend – September 2 to 6 – after it was cancelled last year due to COVID. According to the Fair board, the Ottawa Valley’s Most Family-Friendly Fair will feature entertainment for everyone to enjoy, including the always-popular truck and tractor pull, midway, and demolition derby.
Along with the fair’s classic exhibits such as beef, dairy, handicraft and horticulture showings,
there will also be a beer tent, and the main stage will showcase a variety of local musicians including Ottawa-based country group Ambush.
Despite the pandemic preventing the event from featuring major headlining acts as it has in the
past, Fair board President Vaughan Bastien told the Journal that this year there will be more entertainment than ever before and enough concession stands to please everyone.
“Everything is a go,” Bastien said, stating the fair will also feature a number of kiosks where local organizations will be accepting donations. “This year, we wanted to bring back a more traditional agricultural focus for the fair. People need this; they want to get out. That’s why we’re working so hard,” he added.
While the event typically takes many months of planning, Bastien said he’s extremely grateful for the volunteers and fair board employees who have rallied together to organize everything in less than two months given that pandemic restrictions have been ever-changing.
“We’re just trying to give back to the community and really show people we’re here for them by
giving them a weekend of relaxation and enjoyment.”
Emphasizing the importance of respecting COVID regulations to keep people safe, Bastien said this year’s fair will be a transitional event specially dedicated to local front-line workers. “With all the tireless work they’ve done for us, we thought this is something we should do for them,” Bastien said.
He added that the third day of the fair – September 3 – will be designated as First Nations’ Day. The objective is to use this as a platform to acknowledge and help reconcile relations with the Anishinaabe Indigenous people – the original caregivers of the unceded land of the Pontiac.
“We hope this event will be the start of a fresh new era for us all.  I say, welcome back exhibitors, fairgoers and volunteers to the Ottawa Valley’s Most Family Friendly Fair. Come and have fun,” Bastien
concluded.
For now, tickets, including weekend passes, will be sold exclusively online. “Things are changing quickly; we know [there are] many questions, and we do not have all of the answers yet, so please be patient,” said the board in a social media post.
More information about this year’s Fair, including its programming, schedule and tickets will be posted on
its website – http://www.shawvillefair.ca/ – and social media page.