Ayer’s Cliff Fair is the common name for the Annual Exhibition of the Stanstead County Agricultural Society, one of the oldest fairs in Quebec; running uninterrupted for 175 years until the Covid pandemic in 2020. The Fair attracts about 25,000 visitors each year and offers a wide range of activities: livestock and crop competitions, horse shows, local artisans and handicrafts, children and youth programs plus an assortment of entertainments (midway rides, horse races, truck pulls, music shows and cultural demonstrations).
Community, tradition, culture, and volunteerism have a long history at the fair. The first meeting of the Stanstead County Agricultural Society took place in 1845 and its main purpose was for farmers in the region to get together and exchange ideas on farming. Residents of the county would enter their farm animals and crops for competition. Meanwhile, the ladies would exhibit their cooking and hand-crafted work. From 1845 to 1872, the exhibitions were held at various locations in the county, but in 1872, Ayer’s Cliff, Quebec became its permanent home. The fair expanded over the years and the first three-day fair was held in 1913. At that time horse races were one of the top attractions. Today the Ayer’s Cliff Fair has maintained the original events but has added many more attractions. The contribution of local leaders and an abundance of wonderful volunteers has ensured the long-term success of the Fair. Families from far and wide come together to enjoy the excitement and camaraderie of this annual exhibition.
Exposition Ayer’s Cliff Fair is a not-for-profit community organization managed by a volunteer Board of Directors. In addition to the President, Vice-President and 2nd Vice-President, there are 17 directors and a Secretary-Treasurer with all positions nominated and confirmed at the annual general meeting. Directors and many volunteers from across the region participate throughout the year in the 50 committees and working groups of the fair.
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