Our Annual Fall Fair
Our best Fall Fair ever!
Sunday, September 11, 2011 at Margaret Fairly Park
Post-fair notes from Gus
Early on Sunday morning, September 11, Margaret Fairley Park was bathed in warm sunshine that lasted in its full glory all day. As we say in the business of holding outdoor events, "You pick a day and then you pray."
What a great day it was!! Having done 18 Fall Fairs to date, I have to say that on balance and over the whole spectrum of the things that make the Fall Fair a success, this has to have been one of the very best of the whole lot.
And here is why:
I am happy to report that we made more money this year than we have for the previous three years, and even beyond, as those editions of the Fair had little or no security expenses — if you remove that, what we did this year in total profit is equal to those golden years.
We seem to have solved the problem of the approx. $700 security deficit by getting the expenses down and Marco Cupido has been brilliant in scrounging free or heavily discounted beer and food — Congrats, Marco! The Fall Fair and the folks who attend are in your debt.
We had very little food left over so Rita Elias Faria hit it right again. The music was about 50% new this year and was outstanding in variety and liveliness. Well done Paul Bagnell - our music co-ordinator!!!
The four groups of shift volunteers came through like clock work so thanks to :
Marco for the alcohol shifts
James Murdoch and Margaret Beare for the burger flipping contingent
Carmen Gauthier and Bettina von Lieres for the ticket selling shills
And Jan Muszynski and Angie Andreoli for the fabulous volunteers at the silent auction-raffle table
None of this would have happened without the pleasant persistence of Laura Bradbury on the permits. She worked a Sisyphean task against the inertia of the various city departments and came out the winner. Jan Muszynski brought in enormous quantities of swag for the raffle and silent auction. I dunno how he does it, but the revenue from the raffle and S/A was approx. $2100.
Mary Newberry and Colleen Whyte phoned neighbours and had them bring baked goods and produce to sell. This brought in over $500.
And thank-you to the set-up teams. Many of you showed up and pitched in, but there were some other volunteers who helped both with the set up and the take-down. Bryn Jones was tireless and fast in putting up the stage and taking it down.
So listen up members of HVRA!!!!
It takes appx 50 of your neighbours to put on this event, an event that is enjoyed by members of your community of all ages. This is the very essence of community building — for those who set it in motion as well as for those who attend.
In the end the weather was outstanding. That always helps, even though we cannot plan for it There were a ton of new faces helping out this year. That always bodes well as these new people have now entered the gaping maw that is volunteering in future for HVRA, or perhaps even taking a position on the Board !!!
The attendance was steady and full throughout the day. Many times I heard people say that they were coming for just a few minutes and ended up lingering for a few hours. This means that our members are loving what we do.
Ye've all do so much, so well for your community.
See ya next year!!
Rory 'Gus' Sinclair
History of our Fall Fairs
The Sussex Ulster Residents' Association, forerunner of HVRA, held regular summer festivals 30 and more years ago, evident in photos that are often available at HVRA events.
The direct forerunner of what is now HVRA's major event, the Fall Fair, began in 1993. It was called ‘Downtown Country' by Catherine Cragg, then SURA President, and had many features that we still honour today in the HVRA version of this event held each year in late September:
continuous live music
kids games... face painting
Silent auction and raffle
art show by local artists
baked goods, jams, jellies & preserves
beer, wine, pop & juice
It's a relaxed and very fun day — there is no agenda and our members can enjoy a late summer day in the park with nothing else to do but sip a glass of wine with a neighbour.