By Sue Tiffin
Lynne Kilby’s family hasn’t missed a Kinmount Fair since her family moved to the area in 1986, and she wasn’t going to let a pandemic change that. Though the fair, which would have celebrated its 150th year this past Labour Day weekend, was cancelled this year, Lynne recreated the annual event in her backyard to continue the tradition for her kids and grandkids.
“We even drag our trailers across town every year on the Tuesday before Labour Day for a camping staycation, so when we found out it was cancelled this year, my mum came up with the idea of having a ‘fake Kinmount Fair’ in her backyard,” said Lynne’s daughter, Robynne.
Lynne is well-known locally as being an active volunteer in the community.
“[She] must miss putting her talents to use the last six months because she really outdid herself and thought of everything,” said Robynne.
Grandma’s version of Kinmount Fair included parking signs, a ticket booth, a creative variety of carnival games complete with prizes, an exhibit hall for the kids’ crafts, a talent show, a tattoo booth and fortune teller – even a bouncy castle. Lynne purchased a cotton candy machine and served up classic favourite fair food including poutine, pulled pork, beef on a bun and corn on the cob. The heritage display included jerseys, ribbon prizes, and a brochure featuring Robynne when she was 1999-2000 Fair Queen. A dog agility course allowed for the family dogs to compete, while a Fair Ambassador Conference – instead of a competition – had each of the grandkids telling their favourite thing about the Kinmount Fair before being adorned with a handmade sash.
“Even though it’s obviously not the same, it feels [like] a little slice of normal and it’s very refreshing,” said Robynne.