The Accessible Rockton World’s Fair

6 Oct

There is no question that my absolute favourite time of year is autumn.  The crisp air, the breathtaking colours of the trees, chai lattes, and last but not least The Rockton World’s Fair.

You see, The Rockton Fair has been a integral part of my life since I was an infant. My family, like so many in rural Flamborough relate Thanksgiving Weekend to Rockton Fair Weekend. For most of the farm kids it’s a chance to show off everything you’ve learned in 4-H. As a farmer’s daughter myself I was involved in the Flamborough 4-H Dairy Calf Club and looked forward to the fair almost more than Christmas.

When I became a mom the excitement for Rockton Fair time was just as strong.  I couldn’t wait for Ladybug to experience the lights, sounds and smells.  The first year she spent in the hospital but has been every year since.  This was Ladybug last year at the Heavy Horse Show – 6 horse hitch classic.  Which is incredible to watch and runs on Monday October 13th at 1:45 p.m.

Fair

The accessibility of our amazing fair never really occurred to me until I had a daughter who needed a wheelchair. If I was walking around the fair myself, it was an acrobatics act just to open a heavy door and hold it open long enough to get through.  Not to mention trying to get a wheelchair over rails on the ground to watch the 4-H shows. I couldn’t even imagine someone trying to maneuver their way in a power wheelchair.  Between this and the lack of wheelchair accessible parking spots on the fairgrounds I knew something had to be done.  There was no point in getting frustrated over everything – I needed to take matters into my own hands.  That is exactly what I did.

I spoke to a key board member with the Rockton Agricultural Society (RAS) who knows first hand how challenging accessibility can be, and together we spearheaded the Accessibility Committee.

It will be a piece by piece transition to becoming as fully accessible as a rural fair can be, but I’m so extremely proud that I had a role in starting all of it.  This year bathrooms have been rebuilt to be fully wheelchair accessible in the office building, many more wheelchair parking spots have been added (my personal quest), and power doors in the main office entrance.  This is just the beginning my friends.  The RAS is in the process of having a brand new sound system put in for the hearing impaired, more power doors will be installed, and I’m hoping to come up with a solution by next year to make the show barn more accessible to those with wheelchairs, walkers and even strollers.

The Rockton World’s Fair has been and will always be my Thanksgiving Weekend. I would absolutely love for all of you to head out to Rockton and see why it’s so special to me and so many other people.

horse

I also welcome input good and bad on how accessible you find the fair.  Even if you don’t have a disability, if there is something you think I can help with please let me know.  You can reach me here.

Hope to see everyone there.

3 Responses to “The Accessible Rockton World’s Fair”

  1. gerrycurry October 6, 2014 at 10:46 am #

    Of all the things I miss, apart from friends and family, since moving back to the sea in Nova Scotia, the Rockton World’s Fair is the one I miss most. This was confirmed 2 years ago when we came back to see our granddaughter and visit the fair. Nothing can compare with it. I wish I could come back every year at Thanksgiving! It’s simply the BEST!

  2. Tammy. October 6, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

    Kudos to you for making a big difference for these people in their everyday lives. Our neighbor is a quadrapelegic and just had this similar conversation with her. How difficult simple things are for people in wheelchairs. She says public bathrooms are the worse for her.Her comment is they need to have a real life demo person for these contractors to understand the difficulties out there. Of course everyone situation is different but still something needs to be done. Yours is a good start. Enjoy the fair!! I miss it too.

    • Little Ladybug Hugs October 21, 2014 at 7:57 am #

      It was a great weekend! Even the weather was perfect. The feedback I received from this blog and with talking to people at the fair was pretty much all positive.

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