Visit from British Royalty kicked off action-packed final weekend of 10-day Fair
TORONTO, Nov. 16, 2015 /CNW/ - After helping thousands of visitors experience a taste of life on the farm without leaving the big city, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has wrapped up its highly successful 93rd season.
Visitors, competitors and exhibitors from across the country attended The Royal during its 10-day run from November 6-15, 2015 at Toronto's Exhibition Place, enjoying an expanded line-up of activities, world-class competitions and family-focused entertainment celebrating our agricultural roots.
"We had another fantastic season celebrating excellence in agriculture and equine sport and helping people connect with fresh, local foods," said Charlie Johnstone, The Royal's Chief Executive Officer. "Nearly a century after The Royal first began, we're still resonating with visitors of all ages and backgrounds."
The Royal's closing weekend got off to an impressive start with a visit from British Royalty. Her Royal Highness The Princess Edward, Countess of Wessex, toured The Fair on Friday afternoon with the Hon. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
The Countess of Wessex's visit continues a long relationship between The Royal and the British Monarchy, which stretches back to The Royal's inception.
Another highlight of the weekend was the exciting grand finalé of the Egg Farmers of Ontario Road to The Royal Chef Challenge. The travelling chef competition visited four regional fairs across Ontario over the summer and fall, challenging local culinary talent to create delicious meals with Ontario ingredients in tight time frames.
The finals Saturday on The Royal's Burnbrae Farms Food & Lifestyle Stage featured two winning chefs from the regional fairs — Shawn Adler of The Flying Chestnut in Flesherton, Ont., and Isaac Co of Smash Kitchen and Bar in Unionville, Ont. — against the finalist from the Toronto division, Jackie Lo of Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie in Toronto, Ont.
Earning the title of Royal Chef Champion was Chef Lo, who served up a main dish of Nature Fresh heirloom tomato consommé, poached lobster, shrimp & lobster dumplings, oven-dried tomato, salted egg yolk crumble from the Egg Farmers of Ontario, basil oil, fennel frond, tomato sautéed in Presidents Choice black Label goose fat served with Woolwhich goat cheese foam.
For dessert, Lo made Honey Crisp Ontario apples and Diageo's Bailey's Irish Cream crème brûlée, financier, Bailey's cremeux, meringue sticks, Oat and Rice Crispy crumble, deep-fried apples, apple sorbet and apple cider reduction.
The sold-out Royal Horse Show Saturday night showcased Olympic-calibre international show jumpers in the Big Ben Challenge presented by Hudson's Bay. The evening also featured the Hackney Horse World Championship and the popular Royal Championship Six Horse Hitch.
Over the course of its 10-day run, The Royal featured hundreds of agricultural and food competitions, including several national shows. Among them, PM Thunderstruck 22'13, owned and exhibited by Black Lane Farm, Poplar Meadows Angus of Bristol QC and Vos Vegas Angus of Corbyville, Ont., took home the title of Masterfeed Supreme Beef Bull Champion. Jersey cow Musqie latola Martha-ET, owned by Milksource Genetics of Wisconsin and exhibited by Annette Ostrom, was named Quality Seeds Supreme Dairy Champion and McLain Ward won the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping event.
The Royal also hosted a range of excellent entertainment, including mini-chuckwagon races, Cavallo Equestrian Arts and the Next Generation Leahy.
The Royal's four-legged ambassador — Turbo the Goat, from Animals on the Go — took the Internet by storm throughout the 10-day Fair. The social media-savvy Nigerian Dwarf goat documented his journey to The Royal from Port Credit, Ont. to Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto via GO train and TTC streetcar through his personal Twitter page @Turbo_Goat. After capturing the hearts of Canadians with his entertaining performances and tweets during The Royal, Turbo has headed back to the farm until next year — as have more than 5,000 animals who were part of the Fair.
The popularity of The Royal generates a significant economic impact for the Toronto area and the province. The Royal enjoys more than 300,000 visits over 10 days each fall, generating more than $42.4 million in economic activity.
Funding support for The Royal has been provided by the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario.
About The Royal:
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world's largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show. This year, the 93rd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 6-15, 2015 at Exhibition Place, Toronto. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit www.royalfair.org.
SOURCE Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
Image with caption: "The winning butter sculpture at the 2015 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. (CNW Group/Royal Agricultural Winter Fair)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151116_C5747_PHOTO_EN_545611.jpg
Image with caption: "Her Royal Highness The Princess Edward, Countess of Wessex meets Turbo the goat. (CNW Group/Royal Agricultural Winter Fair)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151116_C5747_PHOTO_EN_545615.jpg
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