The Albert County Exhibition is proud to be the second oldest agricultural fair in New Brunswick. In commemoration of the 105th anniversary of the Albert County Exhibition, it is only fitting that a tribute be given in recognition of all the directors and volunteers, whose community involvement and commitment over the past century have enabled the exhibition to reach this milestone of 105 years, when so many other rural exhibitions have disappeared from our Canadian society.
In 1913, the Albert Agricultural Society #133 was reorganized and the society's annual fair became a three-day exhibition, the Albert County Exhibition.
The following newspaper article was published on October 15, 1913, in the Albert Journal, the weekly Hillsborough newspaper.
Very Successful Fair at Albert
“The three days' exhibition of the newly organized Albert Agricultural Society opened Thursday, October 9, at Albert under favorable auspices. The weather was ideal and a fair sized crowd was present. The horses, with the exception of the roadsters, were shown Thursday and the exhibit was an exceedingly fine one and received great praise from the judge, Mr. C. W. Bell, who said that he had not seen the equal of the horse show at any of the fairs in the province, not excepting the provincial exhibition.
“The agricultural and dairy products, fruit, and handiwork were on display in Oulton Hall and during the day visitors enjoyed the music furnished by the orchestra composed of J.H. Berrie, coronetist, Albert McLaughlin, violinist and Miss Marie Erb, pianist of Hillsborough. There was also a nice exhibit of sewing and drawing by the scholars of the Riverside Consolidated School.
“Among the features on Saturday of the Albert Fair in which most interest was taken were the exhibition of ladies' and gentlemen's driving rigs. These paraded at the Station square and made an attraction that held the attention of a large gathering. A good deal of interest was taken in the hauling competition in which the team owned by Alden Smith of Hopewell Hill took first prize.
“The exhibition closed with a largely attended meeting in Oulton Hall on Saturday evening. From seven to eight p.m., a musical programme was given by the orchestra, and musical selections furnished by a large choir.
“In W. M. Calhoun, the new society has an excellent president. The other officers of the new society are: V.B. Oliver, secretary; John Lunn, treasurer; H.H. Tingley, auditor and directors, F.O. Barbour, Daniel Tait, Zenas Turner, J.S. Hayward, G.V. Peck, Fred Smith, Archie Oliver, O.A. Calhoun and Reusford Porter.” Oct. 15, 1913
The fair has experienced many changes and growth over the past 105 years due to the work and vision of dedicated volunteers and support from the community, as well as the federal and provincial governments. With the expansion of the fairgrounds, renovation of kitchen, and the recent addition of the roofed arena and new exhibit building, the exhibition property is now an ideal location for many other events besides the four-day fair. Despite the changes that have naturally resulted with the passing of 105 years, some things have not changed ~ the pride and celebration of our rural heritage and traditions! The ACE continues to provide the opportunity to share the rural life of agriculture, with exhibits, friendly competition, displays, home-cooking, Queen pageant, parade, midway rides and entertainment, but even more importantly...it's a great time each year to renew old acquaintances as well as make new friends.
We'll see you at the fair!
Dawne McLean is an ACE Board Director.