On the first evening, local politicians open the fair and welcome the guests, but the real highlight is the pie auction. Two men auction off most of the pies entered in the pie-baking classes, with the proceeds going to John McGivney Children’s Centre in Windsor. This centre provides education, comprehensive services and family support for all of Essex County. The pie auction alone raises between $11,000 and $12,000. A single pie has been known to sell for as much as $3,000!
Saturday morning offers the area’s best parade. Since this is the most popular day for out-of-towners to visit, cars and people are everywhere. Parade entrants walk or drive from the Harrow Research Station east of town and along the main street to the fairgrounds. Participants include bands, the Shriners, horses, politicians, firetrucks, farm machinery, and floats representing local businesses and organizations. Spectators line the route and children eagerly grab any candy thrown their way.
A day’s admission allows people to watch well-known country performers. Dean Brody, whose album Gypsy Road won Country Album of the Year in 2016, performed here in 2011.