Anne Brooks

Fairs have been around for centuries. They can be documented all the way back to the Roman period, although during this time, fairs were primarily court pleadings and a break from the everyday. In the Middle Ages, fairs were similar to what we know today as a farmers market.

Fairs have evolved over the years, and they vary greatly depending on country and even region. Many of our local fairs in Middlesex County focus on agricultural. Other fairs have different focuses for example Frankfurt Germany’s annual Book Fair is centered on selling books and showcasing the local industry.

If you examine historical Tri County Heritage Fair programs, one can see that agriculture has always been the main focus. Competitions are a popular part of any fair. Traditional judging categories include a variety of livestock, crops and vegetables, home craft and agricultural.

Fall Fairs have continued to thrive in local communities. With new technologies, fairs have become small scale amusement parks with much of the focus on midway rides and games of chance.

This summer Fanshawe Pioneer Village will re-create a traditional 19th Century Agricultural fair to keep the rural heritage of London & Middlesex County alive!

Sheila Johnson

Fanshawe Pioneer Village tells the unique story of the founding and settlement of this region of Southwestern Ontario. The immigrant story told in the Village of moving to a new home in a strange land is not unique to the 19th century. New immigrants are settling in London at a faster rate than any other city in Southwestern Ontario. When they visit Fanshawe Pioneer Village to explore the history of their new home, they can relate to the settlement experience.

Dominion Day is a good example of this. On July 1st, Fanshawe Pioneer Village hosted a Citizenship Ceremony for 42 new Canadians from over 30 different countries. The Miller Barn was the location of this moving ceremony and these new citizens and their families spent the rest of the day enjoying the festivities at Fanshawe Pioneer Village. We all had a great day!

The primary purpose of museums is to involve the visitor in the exploration of the past by linking to their personal experience. The face of London and Middlesex County is rapidly changing with new immigrants from around the world. Fanshawe Pioneer Village has the opportunity to link the immigrant experience of the past with recent immigration to this region through feature exhibitions in the Trillium Community Gallery in the new Spriet Family Visitor Centre to be constructed in 2012.

The top five ethnic origins of Londoners are English, Scotttish, Canadian,...

Anne Brooks

I must say blogging is not the easiest thing to do. I can blog to my heart’s content in the winter, when Fanshawe Pioneer Village is closed for the season, but when it comes to writing something in the middle of July, it is quite difficult to find the time in between all of the fabulous programming we have been doing.

I know, I know… everyone is busy, so I shouldn’t complain, and it is great that it is so busy at Fanshawe Pioneer Village, because that means we are doing a good job getting our community and visitors involved in local history.

The good news is that we have twenty special events this year, thousands of school children coming for education programs, thousands of casual visitors, and most weekends are booked with weddings! It is busy!

Last year we had almost 43 000 visitors! That is amazing! And we are hoping we have even more visitors this year. Over 800 visitors came out for our Dominion Day festivities on Canada Day, 45 of which were new Canadians participating in a citizenship ceremony. We had over 1 500 visitors for Community Appreciation weekend in June, and we also had to add extra days for education programming in June since there was such a demand from local schools.

I am really not complaining, I love running around, and my boss says that keeping me busy...