St. Marys Journal Argus
KIRKTON — “There are a lot of talented people and I don’t know how many of them have the opportunity to showcase what they can do,” says Pam Benoit, a member of the Kirkton Fair Board who’s the main organizer behind the first-ever “Roots and Boots” Talent Show, taking place Friday, Sept. 12 at the Kirkton-Woodham Community Centre (KWCC) as a kick-off to the annual Kirkton Fair.
Roots and Boots will hit the KWCC’s outdoor amphitheatre from 7-9 p.m. “We saw it as an opportunity to bring more people to the Fair on the Friday night,” Benoit explained.
The annual Fair runs Friday through Sunday and, as in past years, it’s expected the biggest day in terms of attendance will be Saturday. On that day, things kick off at 11 a.m. with the much-anticipated parade from downtown Kirkton to the KWCC.
“It’s always a fabulous parade,” Benoit commented. “Last year, I think, might have been one of the best yet. We were thrilled with the turnout.”
This is followed by Opening Ceremonies and an afternoon and evening’s worth of various activities that will appeal to both young and old. This includes demonstrations from the Granton firefighters and the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority, Highland dancers, a Kirkton-Woodham Optimist-sponsored “Fun Zone” with several activities for the younger set (including a return of last year’s well-received “Angry Birds” imitation), a farm animal display, 4-H Dairy Show and Achievement Day, the always-popular Wes’s Petting Zoo, visiting attractions like “The Snake Lady” and an entertaining clown, and a Baby Show that Benoit described as “more or less an introduction to the community, and not so much a contest.”
“It’s absolutely a great value for a family,” Benoit said. “Where else can Mom and Dad and older kids pay an admission of $5, and children 12 and under get in for free, and you can have a full day of great activities and great social time together?”
The value becomes even greater, meanwhile, if you take in Friday’s Roots and Boots Talent Show. Pay the $5 admission Friday evening, and you’ll receive a pass to attend all day Saturday as well.
Benoit says Friday’s show, for which there will be some seating available but people are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, will feature singing, dancing, fiddling and other entertainment — all provided by local talent, and all in a family-friendly environment. The night is sponsored by Miller’s Country Store in Exeter, and Skyline Studios is contributing its expertise and equipment for the sound.
Confirmed as one of the main attractions is fiddler Ashley Giles of Woodham, who has performed before at the KWCC and who recently snagged a second-place finish in the “Novelty” category at Canadian Open Old Time Fiddle Championship, held annually in Shelburne.
Or, if you’re looking for value of a different kind, $10 buys a full weekend pass covering all three days. And, for many return attendees at the Kirkton Fair, Sunday is the day you don’t want to miss because that’s when the sights — and sounds — of the annual Demolition Derby take over the KWCC grounds.
This year, Fair organizers have added a “touch-a-truck” event for youngsters on Sunday, to accompany the Demolition Derby. The touch-a-truck begins at 11 a.m., while the Derby starts kicking up the dirt at 1 p.m.
Benoit provided a reminder that, beginning Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. and running all day Saturday, the indoor displays at the KWCC will also be available for viewing. These include handcrafts, home baking and agricultural products from competitors, booths for area service organizations, a big show put on by the Kirkton Horticultural Society, and a bake sale hosted by a women’s group. You can check out the contributions of the youngsters who will — in time for their appearance in Saturday’s parade — be crowned “Prince” and “Princess of the Pumpkin Patch,” as well as “Junior Baker.”
Benoit says there may still be spots available to perform in Friday’s talent show. If you’re interested, call her at 519-229-6931.