In the year 2022, as we return to many of our favourite community events, it’s a good time to look back at the foundations of our agricultural society and remember that our Fair belongs to our community. This is why the focus of this year’s Fair is upon crops, crafts and traditional farm animals. Without these areas of agriculture our society would not exist. We’ve also brought back most of your favourite events and attractions to truly revive “Your Country Fair”!
The 1st Ontario County Agricultural Society was formed in 1853. The first Fair was held in Whitby. The county was divided into North and South Ridings in 1855. Apparently, the first North Ontario County Fair was held at Prince Albert in 1858. North Ontario fairs alternated between the Prince Albert – Port Perry area and Uxbridge village. North Ontario Fairs were still being held in Uxbridge in the early 1890’s.
The Uxbridge and Scott Agricultural Society was formed in 1862, and the Fair was held in Uxbridge Village. The Uxbridge & Scott Societies separated in 1864. The Scott Fair moved to Uxbridge and is now the Uxbridge Fair. The Uxbridge Township Agricultural Society apparently had difficult times, perhaps because of competition with the North Ontario Fair. In 1875, Uxbridge requested an amalgamation with Scott Agricultural Society, but the Scott society turned them down. There was an unsuccessful attempt again in 1880 to unite Uxbridge Village Fair and Scott Fair. From 1875 until 1889, the Uxbridge Township Agricultural Society Fair Grounds were in Goodwood. A few times during those years, the Fair was held in Uxbridge Village. The last Fair was held in 1889. The Uxbridge Society was reorganized in 1895, but fairs were held in conjunction with the North Ontario Fairs. By 1896, the Uxbridge Driving Park and Agricultural Association was formed and held a spring fair in Uxbridge. Was this the association joined with Scott Agricultural Society and started holding fairs in Uxbridge?
prepared by Allan McGillivray,
Curator, Uxbridge Historical Centre.
Uxbridge Fair is the registered trade name of the Uxbridge and Scott Agricultural Society, a not-for-profit corporation formed under the Agricultural and Horticultural Societies Act of the Province of Ontario. The Society operates on the grounds at Elgin Park., 180 Main St. S., Uxbridge, Ontario. The Town of Uxbridge grants the use of the land at fall fair time to the Uxbridge Fair.
As an Ontario Corporation, the Society is governed by a Board of 18 Directors. Candidates are elected at each annual meeting. Directors are elected by all members attending the annual meeting. Three Junior Directors are also elected. The President (Chair) and two vice-presidents are elected from among the directors at a meeting following the annual meeting. The General Manager/Secretary/Treasurer is also appointed at this meeting.
There are over 250 volunteers involved with the operations, who fill the board seats and form some 35 committees, who share administrative duties and the Fair operating procedures.
Uxbridge Fair is an annual event hosted by the Uxbridge and Scott Agricultural Society. Originally, agricultural societies would meet on a regular basis to discuss various concepts of agricultural improvement, such as livestock development and increased grain yields. Often the Society would collectively purchase a bull or seed grain, made available to members only. The fall fair would then be an opportunity for the farmers to compete by showing off the fruits of their labour. Due to increased technology and rapid communication, agricultural societies no longer find it necessary to provide this service. The Uxbridge Fair continues to create the forum known as the fall fair.
Uxbridge Fair occurs annually on the weekend after Labour Day, and hosts upwards of 8,000 attendees. Approximately 1,000 exhibitors will enter more than 2,000 items, judged and put on display during the Fair. Promoting excellence through competition in this way makes fairs unique compared to other events.
In addition to the competitive displays of our fall harvest, the community is further brought together to enjoy various forms of entertainment such as horse pull, demolition derby, tractor pull, midway rides, livestock shows and displays of farm animals.