At first, today’s daily adventure felt like a failure. I thought it was an adventure that I would enjoy but 20 minutes in I found myself just wandering around aimlessly looking for something to grab my attention. Only 1 thing actually did – Speigel.
Adventure-A-Day: Day 11
This morning I drove down to Toronto’s Exhibition Place to visit The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. It’s an annual event held every November. The visit got off to a rocky start when I discovered that parking was only available at a flat rate of $14. This irked me because I wasn’t planning to be there much more than an hour or two. I tried to brush that one off as I stepped inside the exhibition building. It was quite busy but there was a self-serve kiosk that was moving well so I bee-lined it over there – $24 entrance fee for adults. Highway robbery!
I had now spent a total of $38 to be able to enjoy whatever the winter fair had to offer me. Now I really wanted to be wowed.
Of course there were the exhibits that one would expect at such a fair – competitions for the largest pumpkin, watermelon and whatnot. Animal shows such as sheep shearing, cow milking, horse shows, dog shows and large displays of cattle, pigs, lambs, poultry, waterfowl and pigeons (??). The educational exhibits looked pretty engaging and interactive too (if you’re school-aged).
What I wasn’t expecting was all the random products being hocked. I’m not saying they aren’t useful products (or maybe I am) but I couldn’t help but wonder what they possibly had to do with agriculture??
I wasn’t in the building more than 5 minutes before I was offered a sample of coconut whipped cream and had a woman request my wedding ring so that she could clean it in a bowl of liquid called “A Touch of Purple” (apparently it can also clean your computer screen, windshield, marble counter and your eyeglasses??). I could sample wine, beer, organic nut-free snacks or purchase cooking pans, pet clothing, leather goods, jewellery and just about anything you can imagine that is even remotely related to horses. There was a large Christmas display and chef competitions too. It seemed that the title “Royal Agricultural Winter Fair” was an umbrella with an extra wide berth under which just about anything could find a home.
What struck me most was that right outside a large hall featuring prize-winning animals was a kiosk selling fur coats …and beside it was a few more kiosks selling beef jerky and sausages. I get the whole circle-of-life thing but seriously, does anyone really go to an agricultural fair and come home with a brand new fur coat? I mean the aroma of cow patties were wafting throughout half of the place. Is this really where ones chooses to purchase a luxury fashion item??
There were a few things I did enjoy though.
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair partnered with Gay Lea (a dairy co-operative) and gave over 300 kg of butter to Toronto art students asking them to create sculptures depicting their interpretation of ‘agriculture’. I found this exhibit to be highly amusing. Nothing says ‘agriculture’ like a Spiegel bust, right?
They were all beautifully sculpted actually and more will be created tomorrow before a final live judging that will take place this Thursday at 10:30am (in case you wanted to go see them for yourself).
In the end, I was in-and-out of there in about an hour. That was my $38/hour adventure for today.
Did you have an adventure today? Does Darth Vader fit into your interpretation of ‘agriculture’?