There should be more bunnies than ever at the Big Brome Fair this year. For the first time, the rabbit section is ‘sanctioned’ which means it is recognized by the international group that oversees rabbit standards.
But will there be more people? As ever, the weather is the deciding factor. The record for the four-day fair was set in 2009: 47,900 visitors. It was probably 50,000 or more since the total doesn’t count people who have four-day passes.
Last year was just 35,000 people attending, but that was because of a rained-out Sunday. But Saturday of 2017 set a one-day record.
The Brome Fair attracts people from all over. A survey done during the 2015 fair showed that 17.5% of visitors are local, that is from the Town of Brome Lake, Brome Village and Sutton; 38.2% come from a 40- kilometre radius, not counting the three local towns; 36.9% from the rest of Quebec; 3.5% from the rest of Canada; 3.1% from the USA and 0.7% from the rest of the world.
“It’s a once a year thing, a kind of homecoming where people meet friends they might not have seen all year. That is true of people who have left the region and come back to the fair,” says Diana Frizzle, a member of a prominent local farming family and a volunteer who works on publicity and 4H.
Ms. Frizzle says the fair continues to be popular with a wide cross-section of people from both the country and the city.
“It’s a moderately-priced event for families, and it is also educational, allowing people to get an idea where their food comes from.” Speaking of food, there is always a milking parlour, and this year there will be more dairy cattle than ever. And of course the rides.
Note: The author is also an exhibitor.