Did you know that the Brooklin Spring Fair started in 1911? It was a one day event held by community residents on the site of Grass Park in Downtown Brooklin.
The Fair was originally held on May 24 to showcase the highest quality of livestock in all of Southern Ontario. The local youth participated in running races and other sporting events. Fair day finished with a community dance. Admission to early Fairs was .25c for adults, .10c for children, .25c for rigs and .50c for cars.
In 1914 the Fair moved to Meadowcrest Farm (Meadowcrest Subdivision) which was owned by John Vipond. Our first President was the Great-grandfather of Gary Young, Thomas Hall, who was a farmer in Brooklin. During the First World War, the Board donated all Fair proceeds to the Red Cross to support our soldiers.
Since 1921 the Fair has been operating at its current location, Luther Vipond Memorial Arena and Community Park. Some of the long standing families involved with the Fair include: Batty, Ormiston, Vipond, Grandy, Duff, Patterson, Medland, Disney, Jackson, Holliday, and Dryden.
One of the highlights of 1923 was that members of the Fair Board and community residents collected field stones and constructed the Park’s stone entrance gates. These still mark the entrance of the Community Park on Winchester Rd.
Sporting activities in the 30s and 40s expanded to include lacrosse, football, and softball games as well as horseshoe pitching. The Fair grew to a two day event, held the first weekend in June because it usually rained on May 24. The construction of a new arena in 1948, allowed for more indoor events such as the Ladies and Children’s Exhibits and a Fiddle Competition.
In the 70s, the Fair expanded to three days adding Bed & Bathtub Races, Square Dancing, Police Tug of War, Horse Pull, and a rabbit show. Our ’Dairy Princess Competition’ has evolved and today is called the ‘Brooklin Spring Fair Ambassador Contest’ which allows for both male and female participants.
The Brooklin Spring Fair expanded to its current four day format in the early 1980s. It now includes a Midway, Demolition Derbies, a Truck and Tractor Pull and other entertainment.
In recent history the Fair has organized a fun, interactive Education Day for local Grade 3 students to learn about agriculture and conservation.
Each year over 30,000 people enjoy the Fair. Our remarkable success and longevity can be attributed to the efforts and dedication of many volunteering individuals, community organizations and generous sponsors.