By John Swartz
Saturday afternoon there was a large crowd on hand at ODAS Park to witness one of the Orillia Fall Fair’s perennial main attractions, the Demolition Derby.
It’s surprising to see cars without wheels, trunks turned into pocketbooks, or having bent axles and still chugging around the arena, hunting for anything else still moving to make a connection. It’s surprising how much steam can come from a broken radiator and how long a car can still be driven. Unfortunately, for one driver, flames put an end to his quest.
Chad Cooke, president of the Orillia and District Agricultural Society, was happy with the turnout.
“Extremely; obviously people were excited to get out and to get to do something. We were allowed 5,000 and I think we’re somewhere just under that,” Cooke said.
The fair usually runs all weekend long, but this year everything was packed into one day.
“The decision was, we didn’t know if the government was going to go into another lockdown, so we tried to keep it a bit simpler and pare the fair back to something manageable for a one-day event,” Cooke said.
One of the attractions for urbanites is seeing what the agriculture side of society is doing, but this year there was not much evidence of farming activity – other than tractor pulls.
“We’ve had to eliminate some of the agriculture due to COVID and just due to, one day, some of the animals don’t play well with the noise of the tractor pull and the demo derby,” Cooke said.
The walk between the main building and the derby area was lined with vendors, most of the candidates in the election had booths, and many service clubs like the Orillia Lions Club had booths to give out information about what they do. The Lions were promoting their Dog Guide program. The Lions Foundation is the major fundraiser for the Oakville school where dogs are trained to assist blind and deaf people. They had excellent calendars to trade for $20. If you like photos of puppies, the calendars are hard to resist.
(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia)