164 years ago Sutton was a thriving town, joining the two boundaries of North Gwillimbury and Georgina, making it the perfect location for the annual one-day October Fair. By 1857 the Fair had increased to a two-day annual event, capped off each day by a 25 cent dinner at Sheppard’s Hotel in Sutton, where the Fair President presided over speeches, toasts and the reading of lists of winners from the daily competitions. Holding the two-day faire the second week of October always ran the risk of bad weather, compelling the Union Agricultural Society of Georgina and North Gwillimbury Directors (known by 1908 to present day as the Sutton Agricultural Society) to change the dates to each September 24 and 5, at the 1889 Annual Meeting.

As we enter the 164th Anniversary year of the Sutton Fair and Horse Show in August 2019, we should reflect on the hard work and dedication that the volunteers of the Sutton Agricultural Society have shown. Without the valiant efforts of these outstanding volunteers of the Society, and contributing community sponsor, we would not be able to enjoy the rich tradition of the Sutton Fair and Horse Show today Many have walked the very same grounds we walk today. Generations of townspeople, rural neighbors and Summer Lake residents have visited the fair and enjoyed events with friends and family. The fair is not just about entertainment, it is a link to our agricultural heritage and our past, which built a strong town and country.

There are very few opportunities that link the past with the present, such as the Sutton Fair and Horse Show. As we look to the future, we can’t help but look back, so see where we’ve been, to see where we’re going. As times have changed, so the fair has changed. If we’ve very lucky we’ll be able to continue the tradition for generations to come. Who knows, maybe in another 160 years, people living on Space Stations will come for a visit!


Trish King

photo credit: Murray Walker, 1969


photo credit: Murray Walker, 1969


photo credit: Ted Leonard, 1970


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