Not a gripe was heard about the miserable weather that forced the cancellation of the 30th tractor pull competition at the 152nd Drayton Fair.
“People didn’t get turned off. They weren’t complaining,” said fair board secretary Dianne Schieck.
Organizers hope for the best, but once in a while, Mother Nature throws a curve ball, and that happened on the weekend in Drayton.
But this year organizers had made the decision to place a lot of exhibits and shows into the larger building on the fair grounds, and it proved to be an astute move.
Schieck said Monday morning using the building allowed the fair to keep going during wet weather on Saturday, but what was most heartening was the reaction of the people attending the fair.
“There were some diehard fairgoers,” she said. That was despite miserable weather. It poured all day Saturday. Sunday there was not so much rain, but the track was waterlogged.”
Schieck said volunteers worked over 12 hours to get the wet track in condition for the pulling events, but, “Then it rained again.” This was only the second time in the 30 years of the tractor pull the event had to be cancelled.
Treasurer Kim Meulenbelt reported about 2,060 people attended the fair, which is less than previous years.
Organizers did manage to get a number of events completed though. She said there was “a good sheep show” and the beef show was completed, too.
On Friday night, clouds hovered over the fairgrounds until about 7pm, then the sun broke through. “Friday was a lovely night,” Schieck said.
That fair attendance was down this year would have been difficult to tell judging only from the grandstand, where hundreds were watching the demolition derby.
Schieck saluted the spirit of the local residents who attended the events, despite the wet weather.
“I’m just so thrilled with the local people. They hung right in,” she said.
She added the pulls were cancelled by 6pm on Sunday, but people had remained at the fair up until that point.
“To see the people sticking it out, I was thrilled, and so were the [fair board] directors.”