The Schomberg Agricultural Spring Fair has become a family tradition in King Township for over 164 years. When Fair time rolls around you see faces that you may not have seen for a good part of a year. When people think of the Schomberg Agricultural Spring Fair, they may think of the World’s Finest Midway, the Draught Horse Show, The Demolition Derby and many other activities that happen on the Fair grounds. There is one division that is often overlooked as our visitors get caught up in these activities on the grounds. That is our Homecraft division.
Homecraft, once known as the “Ladies Section and School Section” moved from the Town Hall to the Schomberg Agricultural Community Arena in 1965. For many years Shirley Hulse prepared the Prize list to distribute by hand to potential exhibitors. Since then the division has grown to what is now known as Homecraft and the list has evolved into an extensive programme shared with Homecraft, agricultural classes and many other activities that happen on FAIR weekend. The fairbook is now available to be mailed or viewed on our www.schombergfair.com website ready to download.
The Homecraft arena is always a delight to walk through to admire a variety of exhibits that people have entered for display. This division celebrates the varied talents of our neighbours, friends and family. The Homecraft section of the Schomberg Agricultural Fair allows people to showcase their talents, their passion and artistic expression in some of the activities used to be an everyday way of life. Many of these skills have been passed on through the generations. Homecraft at the Fair plays an important role in giving the general public an introduction to and an appreciation for part of our heritage that they may not have seen before.
Our Junior & School work area allows local youth to expand their knowledge and creative skills to create a display from a simple idea. To watch a child’s face as they walk thru the arena floor with such determination to find his/her work to show Mom, Dad, or Grandparents their creation is priceless and then the moment when their eyes gleam with delight as they see that ribbon hanging from their entry.
Quilting & Needlework, is the art of using a needle, fabrics, yarn and other media to create beautiful designs on pillows, sheets, sweaters, wall hangings and blankets, items that are now made by machines. In the needlework and quilting section this art of stitching is done by hand and domestic machines, not mass produced. The Quilts on display are one of a kind masterpieces, often with the material used coming from something special. Some of these quilts remind us of our mother’s or grandmother’s blankets or ones that may have been passed down to us and now lie on our beds, the ones that last the test of time.
Visitors to our Homecraft hall will be in awe as they stroll back in time through our Antique section, discovering the many different antiques that the exhibitors have collected and displayed. You can hear different discussions as people reminisce about their childhood and familiar words can be heard “I used to have one just like that” or “my grandmother’s kitchen had something like that” and then see a smile grow and the gleam in their eye as they take a moment to remember.
Exhibits that can be found in the antique display are items that once were common to everyday use but now with technology as it is, have become a rarity and obsolete. The people that are present at the booth are always willing to point out unique entries and explain the uses of the item. Make sure you take a walk back in time and visit the antique section.
Culinary Arts which used to be called Domestic Science encompasses the art of baking, making jams and jellies and canning fruits and pickles. To-day many of these skills are not relative to the hectic lifestyle we life. But there was a time not so long ago that these skills were a necessity of life. Competing in agricultural fairs helps to keep these talents alive.
The Homecraft section is a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages, near and far, to show off their handiwork, whether it is something baked, sewn, grown, written, photographed . . . . . there’s something for everyone. This section has well over 3000 entries each year. A division that was once dominated by the Ladies has now seen more men entering items in different classes. In most recent years a man who entered a quilt was awarded “Best in Show” (an awesome achievement). When the red, blue, and white ribbon is pinned to the item you created with your own hands you have this incredible sense of accomplishment and pride. A ribbon represents so much more than the cash winnings in an envelope. It is bragging rights for a whole year.
In the next couple of years we expect our Homecraft division to undergo changes due to the imminent changes to our Fair, not the least of which is the impending loss of the Schomberg Arena. We encourage you to make a special effort to journey back in time and visit our displays in 2014. Take in the skill, the passion, the heart that is put in to these displays and enjoy viewing our work and see what our participants are showing off this year. The Arena is open Saturday May 24th and Sunday May 25th at 10am for people to view the displays.