I love the fall. Not only does it mean I can break out my plethora of sweaters and warm socks, but it means cozy evenings by the fire under my favourite blanket with a hot cocoa in hand, and colourful hikes along the many pathways and trails in and around Ottawa.
It also means fairs! The city of Ottawa and its surrounding areas are lucky to have so many great community fairs. Every year my family makes a point to spend an afternoon at the “Best Little Fair in Canada,” the Carp Fair. Located at the Carp Fairgrounds in the village of Carp, the Carp Fair always runs for four days in late September. It has your typical Ferris wheel, carousel, live music, delicious cotton candy and candy apples, as well as stomach-churning amusement rides such as the Starship (or the Gravitron, as t it was called when I was younger and had the stomach to ride it over and over again).
The thing about the Carp Fair that captured the hearts of my husband and I when we went for the first time many years ago was the horse shows. Years later the horse shows have captured the attention and adoration of my daughter as well and so, every time we go to the fair we make sure to grab some delicious fair food from one of the many food trucks and perch ourselves on one of the spectator benches and watch the horse shows. My daughter loves predicting who is going to win each competition or show and I just love watching her face light up every time a horse and wagon trots onto the field.
This was the first year my daughter went on more than just the tea cup ride, which made this year’s visit to the fair that much more fun! I finally have someone to join me on the Ferris wheel (my husband isn’t a fan of heights), and my husband finally has someone to challenge him on the bumper cars. This was the first time in my life that I saw the sun set from atop the Ferris wheel. It was so beautiful!
We also love to play the games and it’s great that there are some especially for the younger children, where there is a prize every time. My husband and I play the basketball/rings every year – and one of us only won big once, but that doesn’t stop us from a little friendly competition every time we go!
For us, the Carp Fair is mostly about the agricultural exhibits and the horses. I cherish our yearly tradition of grabbing some food (and cotton candy) and finding the perfect bench to sit and watch the horse shows for an hour or two. We are there regardless of the weather – maybe next year I’ll see you there too?