Newborn piglets ham it up for exhibition visitors

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[North Sydney, NS]— One of the most anticipated events to take place on the Northside (Nova Scotia) in the summer is underway, following the opening Monday (Aug. 13) of the Cape Breton County Farmers Exhibition.

Rosie, of Twin Lighthouse Farm in Point Edward, Nova Scotia takes a much needed rest after giving birth to 15 piglets at the Cape Breton County Exhibition in North Sydney on Monday morning Aug. 13. Adam Greaves, 6, of Sydney, looks on. 

It’s expected that by the time it closes on Saturday, more than 20,000 visitors will make their way to the exhibition, noted Maureen Murphy, facility operations manager with the Cape Breton Richmond Federation of Agriculture.

“It’s a very busy week,” she noted. “It starts Saturday the week before exhibition, people start rolling in and setting up their booths and food vendors come in. You want to make sure everything’s in place ... By Monday morning, we’re pretty much all together.”

And visitors are normally waiting at the Regent Street fair grounds when the exhibition opens its doors, Murphy added.

“It’s one of the biggest things that happens on the Northside throughout the summer. People look forward to it, they plan their vacations around it. It’s a great agricultural event.”

Just in time for the crowds, a sow gave birth Monday morning so visitors will have the opportunity to view 13 brand new piglets. There are also six baby calves, two of which can be bottle-fed.

“It’s a great treat for people to be able to do that,” Murphy said.

There’s also two teams of oxen, which the exhibition hasn’t had in some time.

Because the farmers stay on the grounds, it provides a good opportunity for members of the public to ask them questions about what they do, find out what their days are like and understand where their food comes from and also learn about the local industry and the supports that it requires.

The perfect weather for exhibition week is cool and comfortable, Murphy said.

There are hundreds of people involved with successfully pulling off the annual event, she added.

“You need six to eight people per draft horse just to get them ready for their show. You need several people in the livestock barn per family to make sure that all of the animals are taken care of,” she said. “It’s a massive amount of people working on the grounds this week.”

This year, Murphy is particularly excited about a musical production of “Chicken Little,” which will be performed a few times.

Other hands-on aspects of the week will include demonstrations of rug hooking, sheep shoeing and blacksmithing.

Each night at the exhibition the arena is expected to be full for rodeo-type activities like pole bending and barrel racing. There will also be a light show and draft horse competition.

In terms of exhibitors, Atlantic Lotto Corporation will have their dome on hand and there will be displays from the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and the Cape Breton Farmers Market among the other vendors.

Although the exhibition is a chance for the general public to see what farmers do on a daily basis, it’s also a chance for farmers to get together and talk shop.

Cape Breton Post

Organizations: Cape Breton Richmond Federation of Agriculture, Atlantic Lotto, Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture

Geographic location: Regent Street, Cape Breton

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