With another Lindsay Central Exhibition just over the horizon my memory reverted back to the days when, as soon as school opened, the late Professor W.E. "Bill" Fletcher, our school's music teacher, would be working on his classes to sing "Hi-Ho Come to the Fair." The words went as follows:
The sun is a shining to welcome the day
With a hi-ho come to the fair.
The children are singing so merry and gay
Hi-ho come to the fair.
All the stalls on the green are as fair as can be
With trinkets and tokens so pretty to see
So it's come then maidens and men to the fair
In the pride of the morning.
So pack up a lunch and away we will go
Singing hi-ho come to the fair.
Of course like all children the first thing we would do when we got to the fair was to check out the midway and fill our nostrils with the smell of candy floss, candy covered apples, onions frying from the hot dog and hamburger stands and then it was on to the manufacturers' building. Usually we tried to get there early for the FREE samples and giveaways the concessionaires were handing out. I still have a can/bottler opener that J.G.Baldwin & Son, who owned a coal, coke & wood business, handed out and if you wanted a blotter there were literally dozens of businessmen giving them away with their advertisement on them. Some of the other booths had cereal samples for fair-goers and it wasn't uncommon for one to go back more than once to get a few "extras". Fancy new juice extractors were being pushed as were silver polish demonstrations and instant salad makers only to mention a few. The ladies would also be the recipients of cocoa, tea, coffee, pot and pan cleansers, soap samples etc. not to mention the dozens of fliers abounding.
One of my favourite places to visit was the horticultural building to see if I had won a prize for exhibiting flowers. Back in those days the schools would sell students a package of flower seeds for one cent in the spring- time and if you exhibited your flowers you would have your cent refunded and if you were a winner you usually won a cash prize for your efforts. This program was sponsored by the Lindsay Horticultural Society and was very popular.
I recall Stan Pitts, who was publisher of the Watchman-Warder, running an editorial whereby he stated that there were, in past years, young fellows who were seen strolling around the fairgrounds with big stuffed animals which they claimed to have won from the midway concession stand owners. These lads were merely paid "flunkies" to get people to try their luck at the various stands in the hopes of being big winners and impressing their lady-friend or hoping children would try and coax their parents to "win one for me please". Pitts warned that if any of that kind of deception occurred again he would publish the names of the persons involved in the following edition of the paper. Stan, being a man of his word, kept his promise and the next year he again printed the same warning and it paid off! The culprits kept their hands clean and saved themselves a bundle of embarrassment especially from their peers.