A personal view of Knowlton, Quebec, the Eastern Townships most beautiful village.

Celebrating the Big Brome Fair
Read the full story here.

The proud tradition of the Brome Fair is evident in the faces of the farmers who gather to celebrate their heritageSince 1856 the Brome Fair has been the principal event for farmers and residents of the Brome Lake area. Providing a showcase for animals, produce, arts and crafts and entertainers the Brome Fair is un-questionably the largest and most important agricultural fair to take place in the area.

Over 150 years, the fair has been witness to wars, depressions and incredible advances of technolgy and the rise and fall of many great Canadian leaders and cultural figures and is once again the meeting place for farmers, artists and craftspeople from throughout the Eastern Townships who want to gather together for one short week-end to share, enjoy and most of all to laugh together in this charming and historic fair.

After attending the 150th anniversary of the Big Brome Fair in Lac Brome over the long labour-day weekend it usually takes a few days of rest to get your equilibrium back! At the end of the Brome Fair most folks are usually plumped up with a combination of Wapiti Burgers and Fried Onions not to mention the Funnel Cakes! When you combine this with a few rounds of the rides on the Midway and a trip to the Petting Zoo and a Pony Ride with the kids it can lead to a case of veritable exhaustion!

Of course this year was something extra special with the inauguration of a beer gardens which didn't hurt since we did have a bit of rain on the weekend but it will take more than the leftovers of Hurricane Ernesto to dampen the spirits of the Brome Fair!

With weather forecasts predicting that Saturday would be the best day for the fair it was only natural to see a huge crowd enter the fair grounds on Saturday. Actually the Saturday attendance records were reported to be the highest ever for a single day at the fair in the 150 year history of the fair!

Saturday was indeed a perfect day! Sunny and warm with a light breeze and blue skies....how could anyone ask for more! The midway was packed, the stage in front of the main building saw packed stands as the entertainment was absolutely fantastic...music and magic from across Canada turned the grassy area beside the midway into such a happy place it was simply glorious!

Emerson Drive takes the stage and turns the crowd inside-out! A fantastic show!The main grandstand on Saturday night featured the band Emerson Drive which as any country music fan will tell you is one of the more vibrant country bands on the scene today and having them at the Brome Fair this year was such a great experience! It was hard to believe that just a few hours before the Emerson Drive concert at the main grandstand that there had been horse shows and animals parading because by 8:30 the field in front of the grandstand was literally packed with screaming fans! It was hard to believe this was the Brome Fair as it looked more like a huge Nashville show! The screaming fans were a testament to the music and the ambience of the fair!

Well Sunday proved that those WeatherNetwork folks were not just yapping because the rain started falling and it came down very hard at times! The fair grounds were alot quieter than the day before but still visitors and families came onto the site...although it was surprising to see the number of people who seemed un-prepared for the oncoming rains who entered the grounds without rain-gear...if a vendor had sold a combination of umbrellas and hotdogs they could have made a million!

The Cloggers and Square Dancers made it clear that no foul weather would spoil the show!Rain doesn't mean a thing to the folks who have prepared for the fair for the last year and the fact that Knowlton Band played to practically empty seats showed the dedication and spirit of the fair. Even though the stands may have been vacant the sound of the band playing their fine interpretaions of popular standrads meant much to those hearty souls who walked the soggy grounds and were content to take in the moment! Who can forget the integity and perserverence of the cloggers or the fantastic musical acts who tossed the bad weather to the devil!

Wayne Rostad, well-known from his hit CBC program "On the Road Again" was the main event on Sunday night and while the weather really made a dent in the size of the crowd who dared venture out to the fair those who attended were given a class act by a true class Canadian entertianer. In fact, Wayne appeared in 1987 at the Brome Fair and this was a big homecoming for him!

Monday, with the grey skies and wetness, saw yet anoher example of the Brome spirit as people descended on the site in spite of the weather. Again the midway, food, crafts and animals were the highlight but you could aslo tell by the gleam in many folks eyes that the grandstand truck and motorcycle daredevil show was what most anticipated. While many found the final show to be a bit of a let-down it was most likely due to a few technical difficulties that were beyond the lords of the fair...
but if we look back at the last few years of the fair the truck pull that has been the main attraction in previous years was hard to beat! Hopefully the organizing committee will bring back something more user-friendly as a good ole fashioned truck pull!

The organizing committee of the Brome Fair did a great job and deserve a solid round of applause for all the hard work! Thank-you! In honour of the 150th Brome Fair we are preparing a photo montage of some of the incredible moments we all had this year at the fair and as soon as we've completed the page of brome fair pictures we will give the link here.

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