There is a lot to be thankful for this time of year, but nothing more important than those in any of our communities who give freely of their time to benefit our lives.
I’m thinking especially of those who volunteer every Thanksgiving weekend to work at the annual Woodbridge Fall Fair, celebrating its 170th birthday this year.
It began back in 1847 and, from what I hear, has never missed the annual event. It is organized by the Volunteers of the Woodbridge Agricultural Society who spend months planning it.
I’m part of the brigade, in a modest way. I’m an associate member with no voting privileges, yet still has lots of suggestions on how to run it. I sign in helping wherever I’m needed. Fair day I’m usually put at the admissions booth with someone who knows what they’re doing.
So much money for adults in the family, a little less for kids under 16; free for those under that. This seems simple stuff, until the lines get restless, forcing you to make quick decisions on what to charge.
For the first time, visitors can use credit cards, a wonderful innovation over having to pay cash. or use an ATM on the fairgrounds. Our booth, one of two, does cash-only which suits me. On Monday, tomorrow, I’ll be in a small tent dispensing information. About what, I’m not sure. Hydro rates? Local garbage collection? Hmm.
But really, the Woodbridge Fair is unique with the fairgrounds virtually in town. Parking is free. The slogan: PIONEER DAYS TO MODERN WAYS OUR ROOTS GO DEEP says it all.
There’s a blacksmith at work, a petting zoo, a homecrafts building with antiques; a vegetable building with decorated pumpkins; homegrown vegetable competition and flower display. Another has ‘sssnakes’ exhibit along with a community booth and contests, including photography. Throw in a midway, and what more could you want?
It’s wild and wonderful. After my stint tomorrow (Monday) in the Info booth, I’m joining the lineup to ride in an honest to goodness MONSTER truck. You know, big wheels? Big noise? Yesterday I missed the car show – those old restored vehicles – and competition.
The owners, I heard, wouldn’t come if it looked like rain. They didn’t like having to drive over the sand horse track for fear of getting their pampered pets wet or dusty. Forty vehicles showed up anyway, despite a slight morning drizzle.
Author’s comment: I’ve been going to Woodbridge Fair since I was a kid. I love it. Still do. It’s the volunteers who keep things running, which includes high school kids, cadets in uniform. Everyone put their hearts into making the fair viable, and worthwhile. It’s a labor of love.