By Tammy Schneider
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
When it became apparent that many of the events the Ripley Agricultural Society were well-known for would be cancelled, the committee rolled up their sleeves and went to work planning alternative ways to engage the public and assist the community, while raising the funds it needed to cover its expenses.
“We knew we wanted to showcase our town, the people in our town, and our fair in some way,” said Homecraft president, Fran Farrell. “The board made the decision to do a virtual fair in 2020, and we went full steam ahead and haven’t looked back. These virtual events help to foster a sense of community and a connection for local youth to take part in opportunities to look forward to and share.”
The monthly photo contest invited residents to send in their best photos reflecting a monthly theme. The contest will continue in 2021, with January’s theme focusing on Christmas. Send a photo to email@example.com to be entered in the contest and be eligible for a prize. Judging takes place at the end of the month.
The holiday season’s 2020 Gingerbread House Contest was a big success, with almost 50 entries, from bakers of all ages. In the adult category, the winners were Evelyn Colling and Marge MacDonald in first place, Hailey Allen and Thomas Harris in second and Maddy Gallant and Liam MacKinnon taking third. Prizes included gifts from Pollock Electric and Ripley Variety.
In the children’s category, Taylor and Nash Liddle won first place, Sadie Whitehead took second, Lily Blair took third, Carter Colling took fourth and Brynn Helin won the fifth spot. Prizes included a Fincher’s gift card for the winner, and a Ripley Variety gift card for second and third place. All other entrants received a McDonald’s gift certificate.
While planning for the coming year is difficult with so many restrictions still in place, the Society will hold its annual general meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Revision to the by-Laws for the Society will be included in the agenda. Anyone interested in attending should email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the link to join the meeting and documents for the meeting.
“The board of directors is very appreciative of all the businesses, donations, and people who continue to volunteer their time with the challenges of a pandemic,” said Farrell. “The future of our rural community is bright and the Ripley Agricultural Society is happy to continue to take part in it.”
As for 2021, the Society is planning a fish fry for some time near the end of May. Details and how to purchase tickets will be available in the days to come.