I love the Ancaster Fall Fair. It’s an incredible cornucopia of yuppies, rednecks, cows, ducks, beavertails, and pizzaroli’s (that’s a deep-fried pocket of cheese and pepperoni with marinara sauce, in case you were wondering). The midway is full of carnies and dangerously constructed rides, the concession building has more fudge than… I don’t know… someplace with a lot of fudge… like a fudge factory… or something, and there is a petting zoo with miniature horses (the one we saw was eating its own manure, so I guess the miniaturization process has led to a lot of inbreeding).
But the part of the fair that is the most exciting for me is the agricultural prizes. Being a farm community (with small infestations of suburbia), Ancaster has a long, proud tradition of agriculture, and they celebrate it by coming up with the every conceivable prize category so that there is nary a farmer unable to win something.
The same goes for the kids of Ancaster. It’s as though there is a city by-law that states that for every school-aged child in Ancaster, there must be at least one prize category for that child to win. The town sign should say, “Ancaster: We’re all winner’s here!”
I will give, for your consideration, some of the prizes up for grabs this year. Remember, this is just a sampling of some 45,000 different prizes in a town of 33,00 people.
Antiques and Collectibles: Blue Jar or Bottle. The winner was a 1941 bottle of Vick’s Vapour Rub, “Now with 3 times the Liniment!” It beat out the other three Vick’s bottles because it still had some rub in it.
Flowers: Cosmos, 3 stem, not to exceed 15”. There were three entries to this category. But of course, Luanne from Rockton, dummy that she is, didn’t check her measurements and was disqualified when one of her cosmos was found to be 16” long.
Antiques and Collectibles: Tea Kettle, Spout and Handle. What the hell else kind of tea kettle is there? The spoutless, handleless variety burns your hands and blows up when you try to heat it.
Garlic: Any Variety, 3 bulbs. There were a lot of arbitrary numbers of things in the produce prize area. The green beans had to be displayed as a dozen. The apples were a group of seven.
Zucchini: 1 longest, any type. And it was a long zucchini.
Zucchini: 3 under 8”. The smaller zucchini were allowed to group together in order to stave off the inevitable feelings of inadequacy next to the “1 longest, any type.”
Field Crops: 1 Peck, Shelled Corn, previous year eligible. First of all, what the heck is a peck? Secondly, why does last year’s loser corn get in this year too, when the perfectly good leftover “2 rutabagas, matched, with lumpy bits on one side” is disqualified because of its indiscretion with the “14 radishes, hairy” at Fall Fair 2008?
To be continued…
(Part 2 will post on Saturday and Part 3 (the dramatic conclusion!) will post on Sunday.)