The return of Brome Fair

Fred Langan

Brome Fair is back after a two year break for COVID, the first time since the fair started in 1856 that it closed. Organizers say they want the fair to be what it always has been.

The midway with its rides and games of chance will be back, as well as the various eateries, from hot dogs to ‘mini-beignes’. The concession stands and rides are popular, but Brome Fair is first and foremost an agricultural fair. In fact, it is the largest agricultural fair in rural Quebec.

This year city and country folk can stroll through the barns to see the animals: 145 beef, from Angus to Shorthorns, 100 dairy cows, 72 goats and 74 sheep. Chickens, ducks and geese have the year off. Poultry, one of the most popular barns, will not be open this year because of avian flu. The giant draft horses, with their ornate tack, will be back.

The horticultural building shows off children’s crafts, giant zucchinis and other exotic vegetables, flower arrangements, as well as prize eggs in many colours. There is live musical entertainment every day.

The fair opens on Friday, September 2nd and runs until the end of the day, Monday, September 5th. The highlight for many visitors is the parade on Sunday when winners from the agricultural exhibits are led in front of the grandstand. And for those who want something totally non-agricultural, there is a four-by-four truck, and modified tractor pull on Saturday night and a demolition derby on Monday afternoon.

Sandra Thomson painted this year’s Brome Fair poster, and last year’s as well, though there was no fair in 2021. “I have been going to the Brome Fair since it was a small child,” says Sandra. “Being chosen to paint the Brome Fair poster was the proudest moment of my life. Sandra lives on Fisher’s Point, in a family cottage her grandfather bought in 1956. She moved there full time six years ago.