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

The Big Brome Fair: Aug 31 - Sept 3
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The Brome Fair is known for it's characters!The Big Brome Fair is being celebrated this long labour day weekend in Brome and it is going to be one of the biggest and best fair's ever! This year marks the 151st year that the Brome Fair has taken place and thecrowds are expected to be bigger than last year. As the Big Brome Fair prepares for the celebration of the 151st annual showing of this wildly popular event the atmosphere in the region is one of palpable excitement!

Since the inception of the Brome Fair in the 1840's there have bee many changes of government, wars, depressions and countless changes in the way people live...but some things have remained constant; the people of the region and their connection to the land they live on.

Farmers and craftspeople have been gathering together over the years in an annual celebration of all that they do; maintaining their crops and tending to their flocks, eeking out an existance that is not always easy but is always fullfilling and based on the good values of family and hard work.

To make this Brome Fair one to remember the committee in charge of the event has decided to put an emphasis on decorating the fair grounds to allow visitors to see a real sense of history. This will involve costumes and some special displays and arrangements on the fairgrounds to help people take a walk through the history of the Eastern Townships and the agricultural tradition.

The Midway rides are popular with families and teens!Of course the Brome Fair is about family fun, with fun midway rides, music, clowns, magicians, petting zoos, games, food and bingo on site but it is also a serious agricultural show with events and judging taking place in many categories through the week-end. Last year's 150th birthday bash brought the addition of a beer tent for the first time ever in the history of the fair (Thank Goodness!). Traditionally the only beer or alcohol to be seen was at the make-shift get-togethers that tended to pop-up in the huge parking field or stable areas. Surely many a thristy cowboy will be glad to have the chance to saddle up to the bar and have a cold one!

Main headliners for this year's fair include Desert Heat. After only a year of being in the Canadian country music scene, Desert Heat has become one of Canada's most popular new bands. They are at the CCMA's for indie group of the year, opening for some of Canada's biggest country groups and artists such as The Road Hammers, Doc Walker, The Wilkinsons and George Canyon to name a few. They have also now released four singles from the Cd Forever Road, with airplay not only doing well across Canada, but now gaining popularity overseas at radio.

With over 1000 professional live performances under their belt, Desert Heat knows how to put on an explosive and dynamic show as well. They love to be on stage and love to entertain.

Kids and Adults will enjoy the reptiles at this years fair!One exciting addition will be Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo. Paul “Little Ray” Goulet, owner and head curator of Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo, located in Ottawa, Ontario, and has been caring for reptiles and amphibians since he was a child. In 1995 he and his wife Sheri, began performing educational, live animal presentations to schools, birthday parties, corporate events, malls and fairs. In the fall of 2000, they opened their zoo and have watched it grow to have the most diverse collection of reptiles and amphibians in Canada. The zoo now has the largest outreach program in the country, performing over 2500 presentations a year in Eastern Ontario & Western Quebec.

There will also be horse race betting as well! Wow...last year the booze started flowing and now the gambling is being brought in! Combine this with the big 4 x 4 trucks and the truck pull and you've got a little bit of red-neck nirvana right here in Knowlton!

Other fun stuff is the James Johnson Balloon Show, the Mustang Show featuring lovely horses and Ted & Marion Outerbridge doing some incredible magic tricks and illusions. The full schedule is available at the Brome Fair Website

Get to the grounds early as there is always long traffic lines heading to the fair grounds. The Brome Fair takes place at 345 Stagecoach Road. If you are in the Knowlton area and can't figure out how to get to the fair just ask anyone you see...The Brome Fair is all we've been talking about for the last month!

Check out our photos from last years Brome Fair or look back at the 2006 Brome Fair in our article from last year.

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