A tradition that pre-dates Confederation continues this year in Yarmouth as the Western Nova Scotia Exhibition marks its 160th anniversary.
As usual, people attending the exhibition will find a variety of activities, some that have long been part of the event, others that are new this year.
We caught up with Amy Rose, the Western Nova Scotia Exhibition’s office manager and past-president, who talked a bit about what’s on tap.
Technically, this year’s exhibition runs from Wednesday, July 31, to Saturday, Aug. 3, although things actually got underway Tuesday, July 30, with 4H Day. Activities on this day were all in the outside ring on the Mariners Centre property.
“We don’t have the inside stuff going (on that day), but we wanted 4H to have their own day,” Rose said.
Among the new exhibition activities this year are performances by Northfire Circus Acts, who will appear each day, from July 31 to Aug. 3. The performers are billed as Ringmaster K and Totally Kiki.
“They’re going to do each an individual show during the day and then at night they’re going to come together and do a bigger show,” Rose said.
The Tri-County Roller Derby will take part in this year’s exhibition, helping people learn how to skate.
Also new to the exhibition this year is the Sheriff Monster Truck, as well as the Cool Moves BMX Bike group. The latter are from the valley, a group of youths doing stunts on BMX bikes.
Another new activity – this one scheduled for Wednesday, July 31, at 7 p.m. – will have Eric Ruff and David Sollows trying to identify items that are brought to them.
“People are invited to bring old artifacts that they don’t know what it is, and (Ruff and Sollows) are going to see if they can tell them what it is,” Rose said. “They won’t give them a value, but hopefully they’ll be able to at least identify what it might be.”
Meanwhile, to commemorate the exhibition’s 160-year milestone, a book of exhibition memories will be released during this year’s event.
Then there are the many other things that make up the exhibition each year, including the ox pulls, draft horse and light horse activities.
“The midway will be here,” Rose said, citing another staple of the exhibition. “Commercial booths, truck pulls, mini-horses (and more).”
There will be musical entertainment too, including the Tri-County Talent Search, as well as performances by the group Trilogy (Richard LeBlanc, Susan Kerr, Jim Petrin) and Alexandra d’Entremont.
The exhibition remains a major summertime event in southwestern Nova Scotia that draws pretty good crowds, Rose said, noting last year was the first year the exhibition went from Wednesday to Saturday rather than Sunday.
“Sunday we had poor attendance and we dropped Sunday last year,” she said. “Our (total) attendance didn’t really go down, so they must have come on other days.”
Which brings us to 2019 and Rose invites everyone to check out what this year’s exhibition has to offer.
“We’re pleased to be celebrating out 160th anniversary,” she said. “We try to incorporate the traditional exhibition events along with newer events to help keep the exhibition alive.”