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by Brad Aubin
Over 2,500 people attended the annual Warren Agricultural Society (WAGS) Fair, June 16 and 17, to enjoy the beautiful sunshine and countless family activities. According to WAGS president Chris Wielusiewicz, the fair was as busy as it’s ever been. That might be due to the free admission into the fair grounds, allowing families to spend more money on vendors and food on site, he notes.
“I think it’s one of the best fairs we’ve had in the last several years,” beams Wielusiewicz. “We had a huge number of people, the weather really cooperated which was just fantastic for us. Honestly, I haven’t seen that many people attend the fair in years. We were able to solicit enough sponsorship and felt that making the event more accessible would be a good move. We think it was... we sold a lot more food, a lot more beer, and our onsite vendors were selling great as well. It was no doubt a success! On top of all that, we also received a little over $1,000 in donations at the gate.”
For Wielusiewicz, the fair is all about promoting local agriculture through a fun family outing. “For us it’s a way to encourage a younger generation to come out and enjoy the day. We have some headline events like the heavy horse pulls and the truck pulls, and those sorts of things... but amongst that, we have a ton of educational displays, the OPP were on site all Saturday talking with the kids, we have lamb and goat shows, rabbit and poultry shows and petting zoos that all aim at educating and showing them a different part of life that they might not be accustomed to,” he explains.
Wielusiewicz and his wife, local veterinarian Olivia Stone, have been volunteering as organizers for several years, and they see many West Nipissing residents make the trek out to Warren to enjoy the fair – and even compete in some of the events. From horse pulls to pie eating contests and poultry shows, West Nipissing is well represented at the fair; even local entertainment such as Ghost Rider, Big Dan and The Blue Screw grace the stage.