It may not be the official date summer turns into fall, but it sure seems like it for Antigonish town and county residents.
The always popular Eastern Nova Scotia Exhibition (ENSE), entering its 153rd year, is set to go, starting Aug. 30 and running until Sept. 3.
Everything is going great; the weather has been great and as long as the good weather stays, we should have good attendance … it can get kind of bad when we have heavy rain,” ENSE manager Donald MacLellan said, talking to the Casket Aug. 15.
“But, overall, everything seems to be falling in place. We have quite a few new things coming on this year; we have the bicycle rodeo and this year all the heavy and light horses will be back,” MacLellan added, his last point a reference to last year’s situation where a virus kept many horses and their riders from participating in exhibitions, including the ENSE.
Amongst the long list of attractions and events, the exhibition opens with ‘4-H Day’ and an evening show by renowned hypnotist Ian Stewart.
A new event – the Open Teen Karaoke Competition – takes place Thursday, at 6 p.m., for youth 6 to 18 years old.
‘All we need is your voice and your choice,’ the promotional tag for the event reads, and up for grabs are midway bracelets and three cash prizes.
“Fred Alexander, from One Stop Entertainment, is the organizer of it and he seems to know that it will be a great success,” MacLellan said of the new event.
The ATV Obstacle Course Competition will be later on that same evening and Friday evening, at 8:15 p.m., will see another ENSE debut – the Cyclocross Racing Event.
Saturday events include the return of the popular K-9 Hi Flyers Agility Dog Show for two performances; the second one done with horse partners.
Other entertainment listed for the ENSE includes; Jug in Hand on Friday, Pretty Archie and Morgan Davis on Saturday, and Colin Grant with Mary Beth Carty, as well as Kevin Beanland, on Sunday.
Other highlights include; light and draft horse programs, a dairy show on Friday morning, tug of war competitions Saturday and Sunday, craft, floral, vegetable and 4-H youth project displays, and Hinchey Rides and Amusements.
Something for all ages, MacLellan said.
“Family entertainment – that’s for sure,” he said.
He also addressed the dates, in light of talk last summer of moving the ENSE to a different weekend.
“Farmers can’t think of coming in July when they’re out making hay and their crops; all of the vegetables aren’t ready and people aren’t ready for the exhibition which is a lifestyle event around here,” he said.
“We’ve always had it, from the start, it ran the week before Labour Day … just before everyone went back to school and put on their fall clothes.
“And we hope to, once again, have everyone come out and see a great agricultural show.”
For more on the local exhibition, visit ense.ca.