Covert Ottawa Weekly Newsletter: Small Town Fairs Edition

Happy Monday morning everyone! It’s the last week of summer holidays, and even though your kids may or may not be going back to school next week, you’ve undoubtedly got some planning to do. I’ve been talking to people with children in various school boards and it seems as though there is still no solid plan in place for how everything is going to work out. But with more details emerging each day, we just need to try to stay patient and optimistic that our little ones’ educations will happen one way or another. For those of you with children heading back to school in person, stay positive that the teachers and educational support staff (the latest front-line workers) are prepared for this, and will handle it professionally, following the guidelines that have been put in place. We’ll get through this together safely.

COVID continues to wreak havoc on the events scene, with many events still popping up on my “cancelled” radar. While populating my events calendar for this week, I saw that the long anticipated and likely sold out Justin Bieber concert was originally scheduled for Tuesday night. So sad that all the Beliebers will have to wait until another day. All season, we’ve been talking about Ottawa festivals that have been cancelled or drastically modified due to the pandemic, but what hasn’t really been discussed as much is the impact on small-town fairs.

Small Town Fairs

Ottawa is known as a major festival city, but we’ve also got an immense rural community that takes great pride in its community/small-town fairs. They are so much fun, offering a variety of events for everyone, regardless of age or background. I love the atmosphere, rides, games, entertainment, and especially the food!

In the Ottawa area, the more popular fairs include the Carp Fair, Metcalfe Fair, Navan Fair, Richmond Fair and Spencerville Fair. Each of these fairs has been forced to re-schedule or revamp their programming due to the pandemic, and some are doing quite well.

Carp Fair

The Carp Fair has all but cancelled their full program this year. They will be holding a showcase on Saturday September 19th, but that’s the only event that they are currently promoting. The statement on their website indicates that it will be moved to September 23-26th 2021.

Metcalfe Fair


Metcalfe Fair is reporting that they are preparing a COVID response to continue the fair in a “re-imagined” format, but details are still pending. That will be held October 1-4, so stay tuned for more details on what that will entail.

Navan Fair


The Navan Fair takes place early August, and as with all the others, had to cancel the majority of its events. It ran several events online, and also in-person while respecting physical distancing rules, such as the Upside-Down Parade and the Baby Show. But the derby and the concerts, typically the highlights of the Navan fair, didn’t occur.

Richmond Fair


The 176th annual Richmond Fair, scheduled for September 17th-20th has been cancelled this year. However, in its place, they’re hosting a Drive-In Brett Kissel Concert series on September 19th. There are now three concerts booked, with the two later shows already sold out. You can get all the details on my events calendar, or on the Richmond Fair Website.

Spencerville Fair


The Spencerville Fair management team has been very busy! There are a ton of events still scheduled, all virtual, but still lots of fun. Check out the Virtual Section of their website for a full list of all of the virtual competitions and events that are planned!


Caravibe, one of Ottawa’s hottest annual beach festivals, was cancelled this year, but they’re hosting an exciting party this Saturday at Banana’s Beach House on Petrie Island. The first event is an end of summer BBQ with Pili Pili X The Shack. The second event has a dance class called SOKA Distancing on the beach that features music by Mace and Majess, hosted by Tania Paris from 3:00 – 5:00. Lastly, the Jerusalema Dance Challenge will take place from 3:00 – 6:00 on the beach to raise money for Child NEXUS and Sickle Cell Action Network. The Jerusalema Dance will take place at 5pm sharp. I had no idea what the Jerusalema Dance was, but man, it’s catchy!! You can learn the Jerusalema Dance here:

Drive-In Events

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that drive-in events are gaining popularity again. Bluesfest did it in conjunction with #CanadaPerforms and the NAC, the Richmond Fair is bringing in Brett Kissel for three shows in September, and Wesley Clover Park has been hosting many events using the drive-in platform. They have several concerts going on, including The Trews yesterday (August 30), The Sheepdogs on September 19th, and Deadmau5 will have TWO shows, on September 11th and 12th. The 11th is already sold out so if you want to go, get your tickets to the second show quickly as I expect it will sell out as well.

In addition to some excellent concerts, Wesley Clover hosts drive-in movies. That concept may seem strange to many of us, but it was very common a generation ago (I’m old, I can say that). This week the lineup includes:

Thursday: Zoolander

Friday: John Wick

Saturday: Wreck-It Ralph and Captain Marvel

Sunday: Insidious (late start for extra scariness)

Details and start times can be found on my events calendar, or on the Wesley Clover Website.

Bits & Bytes


Let’s get a little bit into sports, but only a little bit this week. I promise, no hockey talk. How ‘bout those Blue Jays though, eh?? I commented a few weeks ago that it would be nice to be playing .500 ball, and as of the end of Sunday, they’re 4 games above .500 and have been considered “buyers” for the trade deadline, while they currently sit in a playoff position. They’ve made their first move, acquiring pitcher Taijuan Walker from Seattle for a player to be named later (gotta love those “named later” trades). Walker’s first start in the Jays uniform was a great one, earning a win! Hopefully some of the three starters on the IR will return to the rotation soon and we can build on that. Go Jays!! Bo Bichette is back practicing both on the field and in the batting cage, which is always a good sign.


After a brief hiatus (the cause is not in the scope of this post), the NBA has resumed, with round 2 of the playoffs seeing the Raptors taking on the Celtics. The Raptors got pretty beaten up Sunday afternoon but it’s just game one, right? The full NBA east schedule can be seen here:

Feel Good Moment of the Week

I was scrolling around social media and came across this tweet from @MikeSington from Universal Studios. The video demonstrates how some people just have huge hearts! The tweet and video have gone viral, with nearly 500K likes and 8.8M views (as of Sunday evening). Even though the creator of the video wishes to remain anonymous (by name and location), I think he’s a hero and he needs to be recognized. There is so much negativity in the world right now; it’s little things like this that can make all the difference. I think we can all appreciate how great this act of kindness really is… I love it!

Have a great week everyone, and enjoy the last week of summer vacation! Cheers.

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