A personal view of Knowlton, Quebec, the Eastern Townships most beautiful village.

Brome Fair 2008

The Brome Fair is one of the highlights of the Summer in The Eastern TownshipsThe Big Brome Fair is being celebrated this long labour day weekend in Brome and it is going to be one of the biggest and best fair's ever! This year marks the 152nd year that the Brome Fair has taken place and the crowds are expected to be bigger than last year especially after the soaking wet summer we've had here in Quebec have left us all needing a break. There can be no better place to relax than at one of the oldest and respected agricultural fair in Eastern North America.

This years entertainment features David Usher and Jaydee Bixby...well this ain't exactly Willie Nelson it's nice to have some different musical acts and the Brome Fair tries to make every year a bit different on the musical shows. Of course there is also home-grown talent and entertainers playing throughout the day on the smaller stage near the main entrance so even if you've never heard of Moist or Jaydee you can still here some great music that varies from traditional Quebecois folk to good ole' rock 'n roll!

Since the inception of the Brome Fair in the 1840's there have bee many changes of government, wars, depressions and countless changes in the way people live...but some things have remained constant; the people of the region and their connection to the land they live on.

Farmers and craftspeople have been gathering together over the years in an annual celebration of all that they do; maintaining their crops and tending to their flocks, eeking out an existance that is not always easy but is always fullfilling and based on the good values of family and hard work.

Of course there is more to life in the Townships than hard work so to counter balance the wholesome family values there will be beer gardens, bingo tents and a pari-sportif horse racing event. Throw in a little monster truck tractor pullers belching columns of black diesel smoke into the air mixing with the smells of fresh Wapiti Burgers and Funnel Cakes and Fried Onions and you have the perfect Brome Fair experience that should not be missed!

The Midway rides are popular with families and teens!Of course the Brome Fair is about family fun, with fun midway rides, music, clowns, magicians, petting zoos, games, food and bingo on site but it is also a serious agricultural show with events and judging taking place in many categories through the week-end.

Main headliners for this year's fair David Usher, formerly of the group called Moist, who brings a modern pop sound that mixes alternative stylings with techno assertiveness to create a swirling and upbeat mood that is more infectious than The West Nile Virus! David plays the popular Saturday night concert when gusest let themselves loos and have a great time. If you remember seeing Wayne Rodstad from CBC a few years back you might want to get prepared for something quite different. This show could bring a whole new group of young folks to the fair as he is very popular with the Much-Music set!

Unless you have a phobia of seeing Mulroney Jr. on TV like some people, then you likey know that Jaydee Bixby was one of the Canadian Idol finalists and even if you've never heard of him you likely know what the Canadian Idol sensibility is and can assume that you will be in for a strong set of popular music staying fairly close to the middle of the road. Jaydee kicks off Mondau September 1st at noon.

Sunday Night is the ever popular Truck Pull. Now...many people are thinking "They're loud, stinky, powerful and quite an attraction to anyone who has "the knuckle dragger" gene still residing in their DNA columns!" Well...that's the kind of judgemental statement that the Brome Fair crushes! Those Truck shows are always packed and the grandstands are always packed with cheery lovers of Diesel Horse Power! Hey...we need more in Brome Lake than classical music on Tibbits Hill...what about the loud and raucus minority who love to whoop-it-up with dust and Budweiser! Bring it on!

Kids and Adults will enjoy the reptiles at this years fair!Another popular attraction will be Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo. Paul “Little Ray” Goulet, owner and head curator of Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo, located in Ottawa, Ontario, and has been caring for reptiles and amphibians since he was a child. In 1995 he and his wife Sheri, began performing educational, live animal presentations to schools, birthday parties, corporate events, malls and fairs. In the fall of 2000, they opened their zoo and have watched it grow to have the most diverse collection of reptiles and amphibians in Canada. The zoo now has the largest outreach program in the country, performing over 2500 presentations a year in Eastern Ontario & Western Quebec. The kids just love to pet the reptiles and get their picture taken holding a real crocodile!

On Monday the horse racing Pari-Betting allows the equestrian gamblers a chance to make a few bets and maybe pick up some cash. The betting area always looks a little seedy with strange characters coming our from the shadows of the grandstand with their crumpled betting programs and chain smoking like the ladies at the VLT's...another angle of the Brome Fair that makes it such fun! This ain't no DisneyWorld!!

Other fun stuff is the Mickey Farkas Show for the Kids on Friday and the incredible Gastoni Attractions feature tricks, tumbling, circus displays and of course the popular "Globe of Death"...what's that...yes...it's "The Globe of Death" where caged motorcyclists spin at high speed in a large steel globe while on-lookers watch in disbelief!

The full schedule is available at the Brome Fair Website

Get to the grounds early as there is always long traffic lines heading to the fair grounds. The Brome Fair takes place at 345 Stagecoach Road. If you are in the Knowlton area and can't figure out how to get to the fair just ask anyone you see...The Brome Fair is all we've been talking about for the last month!

Check out our photos from previous Brome Fair or look back at the Brome Fair in our article from 06.

Nothing Like Fair Food to make us thankful for vegetables on the other 51 weeks of the year!I admit it...I go to the Big Brome Fair to do a total over-indulgence in the hedonistic pleasures of hydrogenated cuisine! Oh my...the sheer blood-sugar high of freshly deep-fried batter mixed with a diet coke is nothing short of Nirvana! Every day can be a veritable "Greatest Race" through a pleasurable maze of fresh-donuts, pizza, maple candy, wapiti burgers, pizza, deep fried onions and smoked meats and sausages and when you have finally completed the circuit and are sitting in the Grandstand watching the action a Detroit Diesel hauling 16 tons of cement over a dusty dirt patch you really know that you've found a most special place!

This year...this is what we'll go to see if we can find a parking space. If you want to go beyond our recomendations then visit the schedule at the Brome Fair Website

08h00 Horse Judging
09h00 Farm Produce Judging Beef Cattle Judging (Simmental & Hereford)*
12h00 Micky Farkas***
13h00 Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo*** Beef Cattle Judging (Charolais, Shorthorn, Angus)*
16h00 Country Friends***
17h00 Micky Farkas*** Gastoni Attractions****
18h00 Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo***
19h00 A Gastoni Attractions**** Adult Talent Contest***
19h30 HORSE PULL****

09h00 Poultry Judging
10h00 Dairy Cattle Judging (Ayrshire, Holstein)
11h00 Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo***
14h00 Gastoni Attractions**** Youth Talent Contest Sponsored by Coke ***
17h00 Gastoni Attractions ***
18h00 Yvan Sirois ***
19h00 Sarah Biggs***
19h30 Gastoni Attractions****
20h00 DAVID USHER ****

08H00 Horse Judging****
09h00 Sheep Judging** Rabbit judging
09h30 Goat Judging**
10h00 Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo***
12h00 Rainbow Cloggers ***
13h00 THE BIG PARADE ****
14h00 Knowlton Harmony Band***
16h00 Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo
18h00 Mannix and the Dirty Blues Band***
19h00 Gastoni Attractions****

08h00 Horse Judging****
09h00 Young Farmers Calf & showmanship Classes *
09h30 Farmers Sheep and Goat Showmanship Classes *
13h00 Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo *** Pari-Mutuel Horse Racing****
14h00 Silverado***
17h00 Wayne Durell***

** Covered arena
*** Entertainment Centre
**** Grand Stand Stage
The full schedule is available at the Brome Fair Website