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Wild weather doesn’t dampen success of agricultural society

Longtime volunteers -  Matt  Dorscht, left, presented Jim and Marion Walker with the Meritorious Service Award and pins from the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies for their 60 years of service to the Drayton Mapleton Agricultural Society. The annual Campin’ and Jammin’ Jamboree has been renamed The Walkers’ Campin’ and Jammin’ Jamboree in recognition of the couple’s contribution since its inception 47 years ago.   Photo by Caroline Sealey

Wild weather doesn’t dampen success of agricultural society

by Caroline Sealey

DRAYTON - The Drayton Mapleton Agricultural Society held its annual general meeting on Nov. 24.

The year was declared a success in spite of a flood that ravaged the fairgrounds on June 23 and inclement weather on opening night of the annual Drayton Fair, which ran Aug. 11 to 13.

“We did a lot of squeegeeing and washing after the flood. The camping groups that were to use the grounds that weekend were cancelled,” society treasurer Arlie Zantinge said.

“The Friday night of the fair, there was inclement weather in the area and the local pulls were cancelled.”

Despite the resulting loss of income, the society was able to complete some renovations to the agricultural hall earlier in the year. Cement floor work, wall painting, general maintenance and the addition of a pallet cart mover kept society members busy.

Each fair committee gave a year-end report:

 - the heavy horse show attracts participants from Belmont, Fergus, Forest and Damascus and each year the show improves;

- the beef and dairy shows continue to be competitive with the peewee and senior class entrant numbers increasing each year; and

- the sheep show had 100 head on show, with competitors going on to win at the Royal Agricultural Fair in Toronto.

With the unusual weather this past year, the quantity of entries in the roots and vegetables and hay and grain classes was slightly down but new exhibitors displayed their produce.

Display cards with the top three finishers listed, was a new addition to the competition this year. New recipes are the trend for pickle exhibitors with many long-time exhibitors continuing to compete year after year.

Volunteers are needed for the leisure and arts division on Friday morning when exhibitors place their items for judging. School entries increased 10 per cent with significant increases in penmanship and mural classes.

The pet show has available spaces for pets and their owners and the Excavator Games always provide a challenge to those interested in testing their skills.

“On Friday night we threw in the towel on the local truck and tractor pulls after trying everything we could to make it go,” president Jim Zantinge said.

“The Saturday pulls had an exceptional number of competitors. The pull finished in good time in order to respect our neighbours who live near the fairgrounds.”

The Smash Brothers kept things moving during the demolition derby and introduced the figure eight, a new event at the Drayton Fair.  A good turnout of participants, good weather and good crowds made the Sunday afternoon event a success.

The society continues to fundraise by catering events in the community. Winter storage at the old arena is filled to capacity.

Anyone interested in volunteering with the Drayton Mapleton Agricultural Society or anyone who would like more information on the society may contact secretary Amy Hennessy at 519-993-2646 or email


December 22, 2017


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