Avonmore Fair’s parade volunteers
Organizer Brent MacIntyre and fellow volunteers celebrate a successful event following the Avonmore Fair’s tractor parade on Sun., July 23. The tractors followed a selected route just under seven and a half kilometres long from Tagwi Secondary School to the Avonmore Fairgrounds, arriving there shortly after noon. From left, Brayden Grant, Raymond Grady, MacIntyre, Jim MacIntyre, Dougie Robinson, and Bobby Robinson.     O’Donohue photo

Michelle O’Donohue
Record Contributor
AVONMORE – Crowds gathered this past weekend to celebrate the Avonmore Fair. Beginning on Fri., July 21, and continuing through Sun., the 23, the weekend boasted a full schedule of events, including a tug of war contest, talent shows, a flying trapeze act, and live music and entertainment. As president of the Roxborough Agricultural Society, Neil Robinson explains in his President’s Message in the Fair’s book, this year marks many exciting anniversaries. He writes, “2017 is a big year, with Canada celebrating 150 years since Confederation, the Avonmore Fair celebrating 157 years of agriculture in the community and the town of Avonmore celebrating 175 years of history.”

Two Glengarry teams went head-to-head during the Avonmore Fair Tug-of-War. The Sons of Glengarry team (black on left) overtook their opponents to move on to the final round. Vogel photo

As a special addition to this years’ Fair, on Sun., July 23, dozens of tractor drivers came together to put on a tractor parade.

During planning meetings for the Avonmore Fair in early spring 2017, it was discussed that something special should be done to mark Canada’s 150 celebrations. That is when Brent MacIntyre came up with the idea for the parade; MacIntyre went on to become the primary organizer.

The parade began at Tagwi Secondary School just after 11 a.m., and the tractors followed a selected route to the Avonmore Fairgrounds arriving there shortly after noon. The route was just under seven and a half kilometres long. Parade volunteer Raymond Grady provided the final tractor count at 55 vehicles.

A view of the parade line as participants departed from Tagwi Secondary School. O’Donohue photo

Spectators gathered early at Tagwi to support the drivers, as well as to get a closer look at the machinery. Along the parade route, viewers could be spotted on front porches, or in lawn chairs watching the tractors pass. Many tractors were decked out with Canadian flags to add to the celebrations.

The tractors were organized by make, and set out in alphabetical order, starting with Allis-Chalmers, and ending with the lone Oliver tractor in the group. Thirteen makes of tractors were represented in the parade. Tractors ranged in vintage from antique to new.

MacIntyre, who drove a New Holland tractor himself in the parade, explained that in order to increase awareness and participation for the event, an invitation was mass mailed to farms in the area. When asked if he was happy with the outcome of the parade, he stated that he was, and that all participants had made it safely to the end of the parade route at the fairgrounds, which was his biggest priority.

The 4-H calf rally took place during the Avonmore Fair on July 22 and 23. Dairy classes showed on Saturday and beef classes followed on Sunday. A number of participants showed their animals for dairy Judge Glenn Barkey, of Blackstock, Ont., and beef Judge Blair Allnut, of Brome, Que. Courtesy Morrison photo

MacIntyre also mentioned that there were many participants who expressed their interest in holding another tractor parade next year. “We know our mistakes and how to improve things, and hopefully this becomes another unique annual event for the Avonmore Fair!” he concluded.