While its focus for more than 100 years has been on the county’s strong connection to the agriculture industry, the Cumberland County Exhibition is about much more than celebrating farming.
The 103rd edition of the community festival begins on Thursday, Aug. 24, and continues over two weekends in Oxford.
While the Cumberland County Exhibition is primarily a celebration of agriculture, the two-weekend event includes much more including music, food and a parade. Contributed
“We’re about as ready as we can be,” exhibition general manager Kirsteen Thomson said. “We’ve been putting the finishing touches on a few things, including putting new footing in the arena, but we’ll be ready to go.”
Last year, Thomson, said some of the horse events couldn’t take place because there wasn’t enough footing in the arena so the exhibition society spent a significant amount of infrastructure money to increase its depth, ensuring the safety of the riders and the animals.
“We were worried about accidents happening, so we’ve invested quite a bit in it,” she said. “We’ve also did a lot to improve the grounds. It’s looking really spiffy.”
Thomson said agriculture continues to be a big part of the exhibition and she’s encouraging people from outside the farming community to experience it by attending the festivities.
“One of our goals is to increase awareness of the farming community because our county has a lot of agriculture compared to other counties, but there are a lot of other events going on both weekends that should attract people,” she said. “It’s a place for people to have fun, come out and see the animals, be entertained and enjoy themselves.”
The Municipality of Cumberland is a sponsor of the exhibition.
“The municipality supports the exhibition as an important event within the county,” Mayor Murray Scott said. “For many years, the exhibition was something many people across the county looked forward to attending and participating.”
The 103rd Cumberland County Exhibition begins Thursday, Aug. 25, and continues over two weekends, wrapping up on Sunday, Sept. 3. Contributed
The mayor is encouraging people to attend as many events as they can over the two weekends to show their support for the agricultural community and for the volunteers working behind the scenes to host the event.
The first weekend of the exhibition centers around 4-H with numerous competitions as well as the opening ceremonies and the 4-H Parade of Clubs and awards.
Another highlight of the opening weekend is the open tug of war competition, which made its return to the exhibition last year after being absent for several years.
Other events include pole bending, equitation and barrel racing as well as the Farmers’ Olympics and the hobby horse show.
Thomson said last year was the first year for the hobby horse show in which young participants make their hobby horses, parade them around the arena and complete various activities. It’s an activity that is gaining in popularity worldwide with competitions being broadcast on social media sites like YouTube.
The exhibition resumes Thursday, Aug. 31, and continues through Sunday, Sept. 3 with horse pulls, beef shows, showmanship and conformation and the always popular blueberry bakeoff in which local celebrities, including Mayor Scott, bake and showoff their blueberry creations.
Other events include the Disney princesses, the Maritime Four-Horse Classic, the junior farmers’ Olympics, a performance by Mr. J. the Magician and a cow patty bingo.
Mr J the Magician performs at the Cumberland County Exhibition on Sunday, Sept. 3, at 10:30 a.m. in the industrial building. Contributed
The exhibition parade returns this year as well for the first time since 2019. This year’s theme is ‘Your Favourite Movie’ with the parade beginning at 10 a.m. and making its way through Oxford to the exhibition grounds.
For a full schedule of events, go to: https://www.cumberlandcountyex.com/schedule-2023 .
There is a canteen on site and new this year is the Horse & Heifer Pub with music and entertainment throughout both weekends while the midway is also going to be there with carnival games, slushies, cotton candy and children’s rides.
There is also a show & shine of vintage motorcycles and snowmobiles during the second weekend of the exhibition.