Well, it’s that time of year again, Markham Fair time. Always the weekend before Thanksgiving. I love the Markham Fair. It's really cool to have Canada's largest 4-day agricultural fair in our own backyard!
I have been going for over four decades like many other folks born in Markham my age. It’s kind of the same each year, same farm animals, same rides, but I still love it. My kids love it too. The midway and cotton candy, the tractor pull and demolition derby, Markham Fair has it all.
The big question is, will it rain? But this time of year the weather can be very unpredictable. Cooler weather I can deal with but walking the midway in the rain isn't much fun. However, there are beer tents, bingo tents and many buildings to take shelter in so it's not a reason to miss the fair completely.
I remember one year, probably about 30 years ago, my friend Carl and I were there on a Saturday night. It was cold and rainy. The parking lot on the fairgrounds was full, so we had to park in the field on the south side of Elgin Mills. We left the fair around midnight. Well, it had rained so hard that when we went for our car it was stuck deep in the mud (along with several others). It took a handful of farmers with big tractors to free everyone. I won't forget that one.
When I was a boy the fair was right in town on the southeast corner of Main St. (Hwy 48) and Hwy 7. The Markham arena served as the main building and all the rides and games were in the parking lot where the Markham Village Library now sits. The subdivision behind the library (along Reeve Drive) wasn't built yet so that's where the farm machines and racetrack was. Back then the fair was much smaller than today's version at the Markham Fairgrounds (McCowan and Elgin Mills).
We are really lucky to have such a magnificent fair in our town. The community really gets involved. If you haven't gone before, I highly recommend it. The secret to a really good time is to wear layers of clothing (bring a coat and gloves in case it gets chilly at night). And, the biggest secret of all, always park on the grass! Maybe we’ll see you there!!