The Unique History of Markham Fair’s Contests

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In its 172 years of the Markham Fair, visitors of all ages have competed in and watched the many different contests available. Read on to learn some of the history of these contests and how you can register for them!

Retired Contests

These contests were part of Markham Fair for years, but have been retired and replaced with new ones!

Adult Spelling Bee

Sure, there are youth spelling bee champs who can spell “perspicacious”, but could you? Back in the 1980s, Markham Fair hosted spelling bees for adults too! There’s no need to start memorizing the dictionary though, because there is only a spelling bee for schoolchildren now. Teachers, keep an eye out in September for more info!

Bubble Gum Blowing Contest

How big can you blow a bubble out of bubble gum? All that was needed for this contest was bubble gum and the judge’s ruler to determine the winner. Some American state fairs still continue this tradition by hosting bubble gum contests to this day!

Log Sawing Contest

Back before power saws became a household staple, the log sawing contest tested strength and teamwork. This contest tested to see which pair could cut through their log the quickest with a crosscut saw. This contest wasn’t for the faint of heart and always drew big crowds of cheering fans!

Schedule of events, Thursday October 2, 1986

Schedule of events, Thursday October 2, 1986

Schedule of events, Saturday October 4, 1986

Schedule of events, Saturday October 4, 19862,

 

1976 Log Sawing Contest

1976 Log Sawing Contest

Contests That Still Exist Today

Ambassador Contest

The Markham Fair Ambassador Contest has undergone a long evolution over the decades. Today, this competition is open to men and women aged 18-24 who wish to represent the Markham Fair throughout the weekend and at community events throughout the year, including the Canadian National Exhibition.

2015 Ambassador Team

2015 Ambassador Team

However, up until the early 2000s, Markham Fair hosted a Fair Queen Pageant to determine who would be the year’s Miss Markham Fair.  The contest was only open to women and participants were often sponsored by local organizations. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, it even required ball gowns!

1977 Fair Queen

1977 Fair Queen

2002 Miss Markham Fair and Markham Fair Ambassador

2002 Miss Markham Fair and Markham Fair Ambassador

1988 Miss Markham Fair Pageant

1988 Miss Markham Fair Pageant

1992 Article

1992 Article

To learn more about what the Ambassador Contest requires in 2016, or to register, click here.

Baby Contest

This contest is one of Markham Fair’s oldest, and is definitely the cutest! If you have a baby born between July 1st 2015 and June 30th 2016 and think they’re the cutest baby in all of Markham and Whitchurch-Stouffville, they can be entered into this contest. It happens Saturday morning in the Entertainment Tent.  Register on our website.

1976 Baby Contest

1976 Baby Contest

1986 Article

1986 Article

1994 Baby Contest

1994 Baby Contest

Chip Off the Old Block

An old Markham Fair tradition is the Chip Off the Old Block Contest. It’s a competition for children who look like their parent. This contest was brought to the Markham Fair by Markham’s first female mayor Alma Walker. Back in the day, it was common for parents and their kids to even dress up the same for this competition! If your children are often told they’re a spitting image of you this is the perfect contest for your family! This contest takes place on Saturday afternoon, but keep an eye out for this year’s schedule in September. All you have to do to enter the contest is show up!

1976 Chip Off the Old Block Contest

1976 Chip Off the Old Block Contest

2010 Chip Off the Old Block Contest

2010 Chip Off the Old Block Contest

Contests at the Track

If you’re brave enough and you have the equipment, enter the Demolition Derby or the Truck & Tractor Pull! These contests have been at Markham Fair for decades. The Demolition Derby involves cars smashing into each other until the last car is standing. It’s like real-life bumper cars! The Truck & Tractor Pull tests the strengths of these vehicles in pulling sleds with heavy loads on them. Both of these track events are impressive and a lot of fun to watch! It’s no surprise they’ve been along for so many years!

Register for the Demolition Derby here and the Truck & Tractor Pull here

1994 Demolition Derby

1994 Demolition Derby

2008 Demolition Derby

2008 Demolition Derby

1988 Tractor Pull

1988 Tractor Pull

2015 Truck Pull

2015 Truck Pull

Pedal Pull

Kids can get a taste for the Truck & Tractor Pull in their very own Pedal Pull contest! The sled is to scale and in proportion to those big tractors. This means it has all the excitement without the gas or burning flames! It’s been around since the 1990s, and it’s a lot of fun for kids to try! This event happens on both Saturday and Sunday. The track is located at the outdoor stage and registration is half-an-hour before the event.

1994 Pedal Pull Contest

1994 Pedal Pull Contest

2014 Pedal Pull Contest

2014 Pedal Pull Contest

Fiddle Contest

Be a part of the 40th annual Old Time Fiddle Contest! This contest welcomes fiddlers of any age to perform alone or in a duet. Even if you don’t fiddle, it’s always fun to dance along in the audience. For more information and to enter, click here.

2013 Fiddle Contest

2013 Fiddle Contest

Pet Show Contest

Another contest that has been at Markham Fair for decades is the Children’s Pet Show. It welcomes all types of pets, from dogs to iguanas and takes place Friday afternoon in the Entertainment Tent. Kids 14 years or younger will have lots of fun showing their pet off and watching other kids do the same. Make sure you bring your pet on a leash or in a pet carrier! Find more information about it here.

1977 Pet Show

1977 Pet Show

1994 Pet Show

1994 Pet Show

So You Think You Can Cook?

If you think you can be the next Top Chef Canada, enter our So You Think You Can Cook Competition. This is one of Markham Fair’s newest contests. Enter alone or in a group, and prepare a meal on stage at the Local Food Stage. This competition happens throughout the weekend. Find more information here.

2013 Winners of So You Think You Can Cook Competition

2013 Winners of So You Think You Can Cook Competition

Teen Talent Contest

For years, teens have been showing off their talents at the Markham Fair. The Teen Talent Contest welcomes all types of performances whether you can sing, dance, or even make Faircrow disappear. In past years we’ve seen teens sing their original music and an aerial hoopist!

Teens must preregister, which they can do on our website.

1988 Talent Contest winner

1988 Talent Contest winner

2015 Teen Talent Contest

2015 Teen Talent Contest

As you can see, there are so many contests at the Markham Fair that have been enjoyed for many years. Which contest will you register for?

2018-12-04T14:50:12+00:00August 25th, 2016|Attractions, Competitions|0 Comments

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Markham Fair Prize Books – It’s that simple to Enter!

Look for a Section from the Prize Books. Pick the Section and best class that matches your entry. Fill out the appropriate Entry Form. Be sure to read the General Rules and Regulations. Bring the form into the Markham Fair Office on or before September 13, 2018, 8PM, with the appropriate entry

Rental Facilities

Markham Fair Grounds, located in York Region, can accommodate a variety of functions and gatherings. We are the host location for large trade and consumer shows as well as corporate celebrations, concerts, banquets and other special events.