Monday, September 4, 2017

Fall Fair

Once again it is time for the Hymers Fall Fair. I think it is the 106th year of the event in the Whitefish River area of Northwest Ontario. It's just outside the Municipality of Neebing and not far from South Gillies and Nolalu, nestled back in the woods where you have to be looking for it on purpose. Otherwise you wouldn't know it was there. I only "discovered" it about twenty years ago and have attended on an irregular basis as Labour Day weekend can throw unexpected things at a person. For example, my brother came to visit and brought his two friends Mohammad and Mohammad who helped fill in the evenings with their company. (I want them to go on the road with their musical group, Mickey and the Mohammads and I could be the opening act.)  Professor Batty is in town, but I can't seem to get away to hunt him down. On top of everything I have tweaked my back and am having trouble moving. If not for pharmaceuticals I don't know if I could move at all. 

So I went to Hymers anyway. I caught a bluegrass band, Gibson, Martin, and I, that I have followed for about 25 years. It's good to see that they are still upright, but they have turned a bit gray (just like me!) and can still play the notes and be entertaining. We're not dead yet!
There were a couple of inspired dancers, too.
There were lots of dogs there this year which added to the people watching experience.



There were farm animals and equestrian events.

There were exhibits of many types:

Being in Canada there were all sorts of things maple which I had to taste and then acquire for myself. Nobody better touch my maple butter!
Then it was time to return to the United States.

It was a fun, but somewhat tiring day and the trip home was fairly quiet, although the corn dog and onion rings kept reminding me that I had eaten them earlier. I looked carefully to see if there was a wall being built to keep us southern riffraff out of Canada. There wasn't. The Border Patrol did want to inspect our bags of goodies that we were bringing home and fortunately for them they didn't try to abscond with my maple butter. We got to bring our corn and fudge back, too. I hate to think what an ugly scene it could have been.

Happy Labour Day to all who celebrate it! Thank you labor unions!


  1. Jono--I guess that means Canada is already great?

    Maple butter... Mmmm.

    Don't hate me, but in case you don't have this no-fail fudge recipe, here it is:

    1 12-oz bag of milk chocolate chips
    1/2 of a 12-oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 cup)
    1 can of sweetened condensed milk
    flavoring of your choice (see the note below)

    Mix the chips and the sweetened condensed milk in a microwave-safe glass bowl. Microwave for 2.5 minutes at 50% power. Take out. Stir. Microwave for another 2.5 minutes at 50% power. Stir. Add a splash of flavoring. Pour onto a plate (or a couple of plates) lined with parchment paper. For goodness sake, wait until it's firm before eating.

    For the flavoring I've used vanilla, almond extract (very good), Malibu rum, Rumchata (very, very good), cherry flavoring and orange flavoring.

    Delicious, inexpensive fudge in 5 minutes...

  2. Sorry I missed you! Had a blast in GM and surrounding areas. More pics coming on FITK…

  3. Sorry about your back. I hope the need for pain medicine isn't too long.

    Lot of lovely things at the fall fair. I always like to people watch, but think the exhibits and demonstrations attracted me the most. Looks like good weather for it.

    Nice that going to and from is not a big deal. I remember years ago being asked if I had fruit or plants.

  4. It looks like a truly wonderful (albeit tiring) day.
    I hope your back is not making you pay for it too much. And indeed hope that your need of pharmaceuticals is diminishing quickly.

  5. Those dogs look mighty placid. Didn't any bark at each other or try to chase a goat?

  6. It does look like a long day, but a good one. It's not good to have back problems - take care of yourself.

    The only way I like maple is trees :)

  7. I don't even know what maple butter is, but I am pretty sure I'll regret that for the rest of my life..

  8. Hi Jono, what a wonderful fair! So glad you enjoy all things maple. It has been years since I've had maple butter.
    I hope your back is better soon. I know how you feel!

  9. Golly, you must be really near Canada if you can pop over the border for a day at the fall fair. I'm glad you made it there and back before the wall construction got started. I hear plans are being drawn up, just in case. Mmmm anything maple just has to be good. I love going to fall fairs, Our local fair will be end of September. Those dogs are REAL dogs, not like the tiny handbag dogs I see every morning, being walked by henpecked husbands.
    My sympathy goes to your poor back, I currently have a sore leg. It's all part of the ageing, er, I mean, maturing process.

  10. We have a similar fair here in Maine. It is called Common Ground. It is put on by the Maine Organic Gardeners. There are no machine rides or carnival equipment. Gardeners show their wares, craft people put up tents, there is animal judging, sheep herding demonstrations, Oxen pulls, and there are numerous tents offering free lectures on gardening, canning, crafts and more. And of course music etc.

    These fairs are a valuable touchstone to history \
    the Ol'Buzzard

  11. I was going to say something nice about your quick trip to Canada and all the nice photos, and I was going to wish your back some speedy healing, but none of that is going to happen. I'm off to make Sioux Roslawski's fudge!!!

  12. Yes, that was rightfully kind of them to allow you to keep the maple butter (maple butter? Who knew? Sounds like a gift from the heavens) AND fudge. Yum. Looks like fun was had, and I'm glad.
    Onion rings and corn dogs are delicious at the moment, but yeah - they kinda never leave. Do they?
    Be well, Jono.

  13. Sioux, I'll try it very soon!

    Professor, It was a wild and crazy weekend. Looking forward to the pics.

    Sharon, Thanks. It's still easy to g back and forth, especially as a local. They probably know more about me than my mother before I even pull all the way up to the booth.

    Elephant's Child, There was a time when I would hold my hand out for "pharmaceuticals," but these days I'd rather not if I really don't have to.

    Gorilla B., Oddly enough the dogs were probably better behaved than the people although the people were relatively tame. As Canadians go there is a certain amount of built in politeness. You know how you are up there, Canadians.

    jenny_o, I can see where a person could get tired of too much maple stuff, but I am careful to limit my intake so as to remain appreciative.

    JACKIESUE, Maple butter is very concentrated and extremely sweet. It is best taken in small doses, but it has medicinal properties I'm pretty sure.

    Cat Lover, If you would have let me know I would have picked up some maple butter and sent it to you. It is a delightful treat! I try not to complain about the back, but my groans sometimes sneak out. It'll be fine in a few days.

    Shammickite, Yes, I am about 30 miles (48K) from the border. I always enjoyed all dogs, but the ones I don't have to bend over to pet are just SO convenient. Yes, maturing can sometimes bring a little unexpected pain. Maybe like reverse growing pains.

    Ol'Buzzard, I hope there is always a place and a need for country fairs.

    Pixel Peeper, It's things you say like this that let me know we would get along famously.

  14. Wow, that was quite a dog-and-people show! (As opposed to a peep-show, which would have been completely different. But if maple butter was involved, well... Okay, I'll stop now.)

    Anyhow, I'm glad you enjoyed the fair and were able to transport your maple butter safely home. Hope your back gets better soon!

  15. It looks like it was a great trip. Lovely animals!