OHSWEKEN – The Six Nations Fall Fair has been one of the jewels in the Six Nations tourism crown for nearly a century and a half and in that time has brought millions of people to Six Nations for one of Ontario’s oldest Agricultural Fairs.
It has seen better times as attendance and operating capital have diminished drastically in the past decade or so and is in dire need of life support if it is going to reach its 150th year mark, next summer.
This year’s Fall Fair will be a trimmed down version due to financial issues making a usual full blown fair event impossible. But organizers are doing the best they can do with limited resources.
There has been very little pre-event hype and even less advertising to the point where many Six Nations residents themselves don’t seem to know that this year’s fair begins this Friday.
The annual Six Nations Pageant is another former highlight of Six Nations that at one time brought busloads of people from as far away as Europe and Asia as a destination vacation choice.
Attempts to locate and speak to anyone from this year’s fair board have been fruitless. There are no posters up, no ads in the local media, and virtually no excitement on the street this year.
Bread and Cheese Day — or Victoria Day as Canadians celebrate it — has survived as the biggest day of the year for Six Nations residents and families as a kind of Home Coming event.
In more recent times things like the Grand River Champion of Champions Pow Wow, Solidarity Day, Veterans Day and other large annual community events have taken the lion’s share of the attention.
Although trimmed, there will still be a full card of events this year including the annual baby show, pageant, demolition derby, school exhibits, grandstand show, midway, entertainment, Native crafts, food booths, commercial exhibits, chariot races, amateur harness racing, petting zoo, classic car show, tractor pull, ball tournament and cultural expo.