History of the Fair
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The Richmond Agricultural Society; a society formed in 1841 and was originally known as the Carleton County Agricultural Society.
In 1844 this society hosted the first Fall Festival, an event for families to enjoy viewing the best of their neighbour's kitchens, crops, livestock, and machinery. In early years, agricultural societies used the Fall Festival as an opportunity to join resources, improve breeds of livestock, purchase specialized machinery, and to sell products from the kitchens, gardens, and farms. Still today, this cooperative spirit still exists.
In 1895, the RAS decided to move the location of the fair from Bell's Corners to "Goodwood Park" in Richmond. One of the reasons for this move was the excellent horse racing track owned by Hugh Reilly as racing events at local fairs were very popular attractions for many years.
Goodwood Park was leased for the duration of the fair until 1927 when the Agricultural Society purchased the 17.4 acre property for $2,500, making it the permanent site of the fair. An additional 2.4 acres was purchased in 1962 from Harold Oscar Brown for $2,000.
In 1950, the Village of Richmond's Town Hall was purchased and moved on to the site. Most commonly known today as the Dining Hall, the building continues to be a social centre for the Agricultural Society and the surrounding community.
The Richmond Curling Arena currently stands where the old Agricultural Display bulding stood up until 1979. During the Richmond Fair weekend the Curling Arena is filled with homecraft and commercial displays.
Although the Richmond Fair is no longer the main source of information about improved agricultural practices and new technologies, with the development of urban and suburban communities near our villages, all rural fairs play an important role in exposing the general public to agricultural practices.
The Richmond Fair occurs annually on the third weekend in September.
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