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Cumberland County Ex returns for 102nd year

The Ex is back. After being postponed for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cumberland County Exhibition is returning for its 102nd year beginning on Friday, Aug. 26, and continuing until Sunday, Aug. 28, before resuming Thursday, Sept. 1, and continuing until Sunday, Sept 4.

“It’s great to be back. It’s been a long time coming and a lot of work has gone into getting things ready,” organizing committee chair Heather Kouwenberg said. “We were able to have a beef show last year, but that’s all it was, so we’re happy to be back with a full ex. We’re a little out of practice because it’s been three years since our last one.”

Kouwenberg said it hasn’t been easy getting the exhibition ready to go again. The board, which is very new, felt it was making a lot of progress after the 2019 exhibition began to regain some of the momentum that had been lost over the years.

“We are a lot younger with families and we’re trying to bring new life to the exhibition. Exhibitions have been struggling for several years, but we wanted our children to get a taste of what the exhibition is like so they experience the exhibition like we did,” Kouwenberg said. “We were really beginning to get some solid momentum going and then COVID hit.”

COVID is continuing to impact the event as a number of volunteers didn’t come back due to illness or fear of becoming infected while it has also impacted the number of entries. Kouwenberg said organizers understand the hesitancy and hoping this year’s exhibition will be a springboard to future exhibitions once COVID is gone.

Events this weekend will be dominated by horse events inside the Oxford arena including showmanship, equitation, barrel racing and pole bending with the beef show and the always popular youth and men’s and women’s tug of war.Weekend 2 will see numerous 4-H events as well as the Allen Auto Group Horse Pulls on Thursday, Sept. 1, the Doug Curry Memorial Pig Auction and the Tantramar Chevrolet Buick GMC Horse Pulls on Friday, Sept. 2, and the firefighters’ obstacle course, the CCEx obstacle challenge, Ian Stewart’s chainsaw juggling and the farmers’ Olympics on Saturday, Sept. 3.

Events wrap up on Sunday, Sept. 4 with various events including the 4-H tug of war finals, the Amazing Mr. J magician, the exhibition award presentations and the 4-H Parade of Clubs and Junior Host & Hostess competition conclusion.

“We split the ex over two weekends this year. Some of the complaints from past exhibitors was that six days was too long. Now, some will come one weekend or the other while some are coming both weekends,” she said.

There are also 14 vendors including items such as tack, fudge, facepainting, tattoos, leather work and more.

The second stage includes Kyle O’Brien, Chelsea Atkinson and Sara and Kevin Nelson on Friday (Aug. 26) with the Cumberland County Realtors’ sponsored Blueberry Bake off on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. with Sara and Kevin Nelson returning to the stage at 5 p.m.

The Elsa & Anna princess meet and greet is Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m.

Events on the second stage during the second weekend include Evange Landry and Friends and Steve Wells on Friday, Sept. 2, High Tide, Ian Stewart (chainsaw juggling) and Drew Polegato on Saturday, Sept. 3.

Other events include Halimac axe-throwing on Saturday, Aug. 27, and Saturday, Sept. 3, and a petting zoo in the cattle barn on both weekends.There will also be carnival games outside with slushies, popcorn and more along with Airsoft gun shooting outside and Kevin’s Chainsaw Carvings doing a demonstration on Sept. 2 from 3 to 6 p.m.

There’s a Nova Farm Party outside between the exhibition hall and the industrial building on Sept. 3 at 2 p.m. and the Princess Tea Party on Sept. 3 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. (You must pre-purchase tickets for this).For more information on the exhibition this year, go to cumberlandcountyex.com .