Assertion, unsupported by fact, is nugatory. Surmise and general abuse, in however elegant language, ought not to pass for truth. Junius

2006/10/06

The Norwood Fair, and Some Pointless Local History

As I write, a parliament of about 300 Canada geese has settled on the farm pond, and having resolved the same sex marriage issue some time ago, are vigorously debating the best route to Boca. The turkeys are popping Xanax and talking confusedly about "breaking out". Suddenly it's fall, Thanksgiving is upon us, and the yes, the famous Norwood Fair is gearing up this weekend to awe the amateur and professional fairgoer alike.

I've often thought one of the great pleasures of living in Canada are country fairs, and the Norwood Fair is one of the best of them. A fair of this splendour and beauty is hardly to be found elsewhere in Peterborough County, let alone the province. But I warn you: wandering through the giant pumpkins, the preserves and pickles, and the prize pigs is exhausting and not for the faint-hearted; so exhausting in fact, Norwood village pretty well closes up for eleven months afterwards, just to gather up strength for the next time.

For those of you not in the in-crowd, Norwood is a tiny village about 25 km east of Peterborough; for me it's the village, as in, "I'm going to the village for milk/driver's licence/chicken food/to get the dead donkey removed.*" So I confess a little bias. But come on out anyway. Just go east on Highway 7 towards Ottawa, and you'll run right into it. You'll probably see me there Sunday, likely muttering at the sheep.

I also need to mention, in all humility, that there's a link between the the fabulous Norwood Fair and your humble Upper Canadian. I've discovered one of the founders of the fair in 1868 was one Frank Birdsall, whose family owned about 25 acres of the property I now occupy. Now this is a fact, I admit, that isn't likely to draw a gasp of admiration from anyone but me and the blue-rinse gang over at the Asphodel and Norwood Historical Society. But think about it:

Frank Birdsall, Norwood Fair Founder -------->

The Upper Canadian -------->

? Unknown Greatness

On such paths are the roads to glory trod.


*Actual conversation

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