OHSWEKEN – The Six Nations Fall Fair will be taking on a new look for 2017.
Actually it’s an old look, as organizers try to pull the longest running Native Fall Fair in Canada at 150 years, out of the ditch.
In recent years past, debt upon debt, year after year put the venerable agricultural fall fair in doubt of making its 150th anniversary.
Six Nations Elected Councillor Marc Hill and a team of volunteers are hoping to bring the fair back from its death throws, by recreating the pattern from the days when the occasion was the biggest day of the year at Six Nations. Back to the future as it were.
The new executive began by returning the Fall Fair to, well, the fall. It had been changed to August for the past few years with the thought that more people might attend in the summer, and procurement of midway rides and games was easier before the usual Fall Fair season.
Whatever the reason, it has not worked and attendance has been dwindling since the move.
The new committee began looking at 150 years of past fairs for ideas to revive the homey, friendly, agricultural nature the Six Nations Fair one had.
“A fall Fair really should be in the fall,” said Hill. “Rather than in the heat of the summer.”
Hill says securing a midway for the fair has been the biggest challenge organizers have faced this year.
We took over the Fair in February and it was in a bad situation,” says Hill. “We were very lucky that at the last minute we were able to book a small midway company and there will be rides and games.”
But the committee has also added new events to mix with the usual. This year will feature a petting zoo and barnyard, the Masters Men’s Ball Tournament will be on during the Fair.
“In past years, horse races were a big part of the fair,” says Hill. “This year we have brought that back after 15 years.”
A trade show will be housed in the Arena along with the annual Miss Six Nations and Ambassadors contest, a legends show and various music acts. A monster Bingo is set for Sunday at the Community Hall.
Cultural events will also be featured, including a Smoke Dance competition. All and all, the 2017 Six Nations Fall Fair will be taking on an atmosphere perhaps a little more reminiscent of one hundred years ago.
To kick it all off, Thursday night Sept. 7th, a free concert night with several local artists including Logan Staats, Lacy Hill, Jace Martin along with feature artists, DJ Shub, Anjulie and headliners, Junkhouse. Gate to the kick-off Concert at the Fair Grounds opens at 5 p.m. with the show beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The address is 1738 Fourth Line Road, Ohsweken. Bring your own lawn chairs. This is a Zero Tolerance, no alcohol or drugs event.
Although the show is free, donations to help cover the costs and rebuild the fair are greatly appreciated.