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Harrow Fair pie auction raises record $49,600 for the John McGivney Children’s Centre

- 166th annual event likely breaks attendance record -



by Sylene Argent 

The 166th annual Harrow Fair likely broke its attendance record, raised a record-breaking $49,600 for the John McGivney Children’s Centre through its pie auction, and continued to be a homebase for locals to meet up with old friends and family members to enjoy the four-day celebration.

  The Harrow Fair, with this year’s theme of “Bushels, Bales, and Tails” caught the attention of many talented locals, who chose to enter in the many competitive classes. Judges took their time to assess each of the many entries submitted into the needle art, baking, photography, grains, seeds, vegetables, flowers, fruits, and poultry classes, in addition to those who entered to participate in the horse show competitions.

  Emma Denotter, a Director of the Harrow Fair Board, said there were a lot of new entries in the competitions this year, which was nice to see. In addition, she said there were many youths getting involved.

  In addition to offering an exciting midway, the four-day event that kicked-off last Thursday offered lawn tractor races, tractor pulls, Border City Barkers agility demonstrations, and 4-H achievement days and judged classes.

  Entertainment included a performance by Elvis tribute artists – and Harrow Native – James Gibb, on the Thursday, Buck Twenty on the Friday, and Wes Mack on the Saturday. All of Harrow Fair’s music entertainers are Canadian.

  Denotter was pleased to announce the annual Harrow Pie Auction on the Thursday evening of the event raised nearly $50,000, with the proceeds going to the John McGivney Children’s Centre, which by far surpassed the total raised in 2019 of $32,210.

  Local Businessman, Jeff Sylvester of Lakepoint Homes, outbid everyone on the top pie, which brought in a record-breaking $6100. In addition, he bought the next two top pies to support the cause, as well. Lonie Kady of Harrow’s Hometown Family Pharmacy also bought a dozen pies during what would become an exciting auction.

  Area residents were definitely excited the Harrow Fair was back in full swing, Denotter noted as a reason why there was so much support for the Pie Auction. With the Harrow Fair having to get cancelled in 2020 and 2021, due to the pandemic, she believes area residents and business owners wanted to support the Harrow Fair and the John McGivney Children’s Centre the best way they could.

  “It was pure excitement,” Denotter said of the bidding that went on in the auction. “And, the proceeds are going to such a great cause.”

Denotter believes the 2022 Harrow Fair likely broke attendance records, judging by the fairgoers she watched file through the front gates and out along the fairgrounds, enjoying all the event had to offer.

  “It has been so busy.”

  In speaking about Saturday’s parade, she said she was excited to see so many smiling faces along the parade route, eager to wave at the individuals on the floats and collect candy.

  The Harrow Fair’s family atmosphere is what attracts people out to the event every year, Denotter said of the ongoing success of the local Labour Day tradition. “It is a place you can go to see friends you haven’t seen in years and it feels like no time has passed at all. You just pick-up where you left off.”

  She added the Harrow Fair is definitely a great agricultural showcase for Essex County, where attendees can see the animals and tractor displays.

  On behalf of the volunteer Harrow Fair Board, Denotter thanked everyone for the support they offered to the Harrow Fair to ensure it was a top-notch event.