Owing to the covid-19 pandemic, Markham Fair, like so many other events, was canceled for 2020. We thought it fitting, then, to look back in time at Markham Fair as we have experienced it with our family over the past 40 years.
Music was synonymous with Markham Fair. Between the popular tunes blaring from every Midway ride, soundtracks underlying demonstrations, and bands marching through the fairgrounds, melodies could be heard everywhere.
The cacophony added to the thrill of the experience and lifted everyone’s spirits.
Slightly removed from the Midway, we could get a reprieve by checking out commercial kiosks and outdoor exhibits. Still, nearby shows had their own soundtracks pumped up to excite the crowd.
One such outdoor exhibit included exotic animals such as this Honduran Milk Snake.
Braving my own fear of snakes, I let the handler drape the snake around my neck.
Wandering into the livestock barns was a sure way to escape the frenetic atmosphere of the Midway.
Even within that quiet sanctuary, there were unexpected sights to tantalize the visitors.
As the hours passed from morning to afternoon, our family would seek out a place to sit down and rest. Interesting shows inside the shelter of a large tent wowed Markham Fair attendees by showing them something new…an extravaganza of stunts and music such as this Steampunk-themed performance in 2016.
For our family, the most anticipated music event was the Old Tyme Fiddling Contest on Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. Finally having our fill of The Midway, having perused all the exhibits in the Homecraft and General Exhibits buildings, and satisfied our cravings for fair fare, there was nothing better than settling down to hear fiddlers compete.
As Bob gained confidence in his playing, he finally mustered the nerve to enter into the contest on a few occasions and even took a prize. With each passing year, the numbers of competitors varied, but the talent exhibited by both the novices and seasoned performers really got everyone’s toes tapping. It was a full evening’s entertainment with each fiddler playing 3 tunes, and then a grand finale at the end where all competitors played together. Those were the best of times! Markham Fair is set to take place from Sept. 29 – Oct. 2, 2022. Hope to see you there!.