a peek inside the fishbowl

27 Sep, 2009

A visit to the Carp Fair

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - Ottawa for kids|Easy ways to make kids happy|Multimedia experiments

I haven’t been to every fair around Ottawa (there are lots), but I think it’s safe to say that the Carp Fair is one of the best ones around. It has certainly become our new favourite.

We skipped the Ex this year and went here instead. And I’m glad we did. The Carp Fair is a great way to see where we came from.

After we do something as a family we often discuss what we each liked best. (We often do this at the dinner table too: “What was the best part of your day today? What was the worst part?”) And I think we all agreed that we liked absolutely everything about the Carp Fair.

I particularly love the animals. In the 4-H building I saw a gaggle of adolescents lying in a pen, leaning on their similarly-aged calf as if it was a giant living bean bag and the pen was their family room. They were all texting, phones aglow. I truly regret not taking a photo.

We watched a bit of the jumping competition:

Horse competition

… and there was a lot of wagon show riding:

Horsey stuff at the Carp Fair

I find the funky chickens hilarious. And the roosters. I waited forever to get a cock-a-doodle-doo out of one of them:

rooster crowing

rooster and hen

And check out this hairdo! She looks like a noblewoman right after a visit to a fancy hair salon:

Fancy chicken

You can’t come to the Carp Fair without checking out the winners of the home crafts competitions. Best pickles, tomatoes, longest zucchini, bouquets in boots and much much more:

home crafts at the Carp Fair

We checked out the miniature train sets:

train set

Antique cars:

old car

… and tractors:


And of course, the midway. I can take it or leave it (in fact, unless it’s a roller coaster I almost never go on the rides, they make me nauseous) but I do like to watch others having fun:

The Sizzler at the Carp Fair

The Sizzler at the Carp Fair

Sarah discovered she really liked the old-skool Ride of Centrifugal Force:

Carp Fair

Me, I always make exception for the ferris wheel. It is a thing of beauty:

ferris wheel at the Carp Fair

… and I like the view:

view from the ferris wheel at the Carp Fair

I’m not the only one who loves it:

on the ferris wheel at the Carp Fair

On the ferris wheel at the Carp Fair

And then there’s the food. Oh, it is delicious.  We ate candy floss, kettle corn (MY FAVE), real corn dogs (totally authentic, not like Pogos at all!), and – the best thing of all, mini-doughnuts with icing sugar:

mini-doughnuts at the Carp Fair

This was my first time eating fresh doughnuts. Oh my god where they ever good… hot out of the fryer. Now I understand the LURE OF THE HOT BITS OF FRIED DOUGH.

I wish I could have captured the smell of the fair, but I did manage to capture the sound of the fair. This clip is only about a minute long. Take a look at this pic while you listen and then tell me what you love about the fair. :)

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13 Responses to "A visit to the Carp Fair"

1 | Lynn

September 27th, 2009 at 11:02 am


We were there yesterday, too — judging from your picture of the horses and carriages, at exactly the same time as you! What time did you take the ferris wheel picture? If it was in the morning I’ll pore over it and see if I can spot the kids in it :).

This was only our second year going, but I love the Carp Fair too. Our kids loved the petting zoo area — the only one brave enough to actually feed the animals, though, was our two-year-old! We had cotton candy (a HUGE weakness of mine) and mini-donuts (a must have for any fair visit).

Everything was awesome and we had a great time. Next year for sure!

2 | mrsgryphon

September 27th, 2009 at 11:49 am


Oh, how I miss our small-town fair!! It was last weekend, and my family spent the whole 3 days there. One of these years, I’m going to plan a trip home just for that weekend.

I love the parade through town, the french fries, the 4-H cattle show, the homecrafts exhibits, the crazy midway rides, the carnies hawking cheesy game prizes! Love it all!!

3 | BeachMama

September 27th, 2009 at 11:59 am


Carp Fair is one that I haven’t been to. We really enjoy the Perth Fair and the Richmond Fair. But, really you could go to one ever weekend in the Fall if you want to. There is the Metcalfe Fair as well. Nothing like a good old fashioned Fair to welcome in the cooler temperatures. Looks like you guys had a great day.

4 | andrea

September 27th, 2009 at 1:04 pm


It was certainly a great day!

Lynn, I’m not sure what time the ferris wheel pic was taken but we were there after about 2:00 pm. It would have been so funny to see you there!

5 | karen

September 27th, 2009 at 3:08 pm


I think that the Renfrew, Carp and Metcalfe fairs are the best in the area.

6 | Shan

September 27th, 2009 at 6:28 pm


We were at our local fair today too. I can’t believe I totally forgot about the fresh mini donuts. I think I was a little frazzled trying to keep track of two over excited little ones in a sea of people. I did remember the fudge and the kettle corn though. Looks like you had a great day.

7 | Chantal

September 27th, 2009 at 6:42 pm


I am so sad that we had to miss the Carp fair this year. We had my neice and nephew all weekend and we just couldn’t imagine managing 4 kids with me being the slow preggy lady I am these days… Next weekend we will hit the Metcalf fair to make up for it. I hope it is good and they better have mini doughnuts or I may cry. And I will eat a whole dozen all to myself, because I am pregnant and I can! :)

8 | Hellcat13

September 27th, 2009 at 8:37 pm


Ooh, if you want some hot tasty bits of fried dough, you should check out Mountain Orchards (http://www.mountainorchards.ca/english/index.htm in Mountain, off Hwy 43 midway between Winchester and Kemptville). They make these fresh apple cider donuts, tossed in just a touch of cinnamon and sugar, that are to DIE for.

I always do my apple picking before I go for donuts since I can never resist munching on a couple of apples fresh from the tree—that way I don’t overindulge too much on the donuts! :)

9 | Empire

September 27th, 2009 at 8:55 pm


Yup, first thing I thought of when you said fresh-made doughnuts….Mountain Orchard apples doughnuts. Go for the Empire apples…nothing quite like them. They should be ready by next weekend.

10 | vanessa

September 30th, 2009 at 11:08 am


fantastic frizzles ! i spotted an orange & white furry carp on the bus this morning – out grown its normal environment evolved into an 02 breathing soft toy & dr seussed a small child in a red uniform.

in addition to the largest vegetable grown a popular new catagory this side of the pond is the make an imaginative creature with veggies held together with cocktail sticks . You might like to try this .

11 | alison

October 2nd, 2009 at 11:38 am


As we live in Carp, a visit (or 2) to the fair is mandatory. We took the Friday off school and work and spent the whole day there. Then I came back sans girls in the evening for the Blue Rodeo concert. It was a perfect day.

Yummy bets for food to try next year: for melt-in-your mouth home-made pie, check out the baptist church stand in the little red wooden house next to the heavy horse ring. And for a delish (if artery clogging) burger, you can’t go wrong ordering a Huntley burger (burger, cheese, back bacon and fried onions on a fresh bun from the Carp Bakery) at the booth right in the side of the exhibit building run by the Huntley Community Association.

And when you checked out the exhibits, did you happen to notice the name of the First Prize winner in the cinnamon bun category? *blushes modestly*

12 | A bit about the Carp Fair >> a peek inside the fishbowl

September 28th, 2010 at 8:27 am


[…] rise and shine and get there on Saturday morning. I think it’s the best time to go. (Here’s a recap of our visit last year, complete with photos and […]

13 | Peter

September 30th, 2013 at 11:34 am


I was on there on the 29’th of September, 2013 and had gone there because I was told they had good rides and other attractions for the kids….And yes they do!

I had only opted to bringing the kids there because I was told that we could purchase a day pass for the kids so they can have unlimited rides, well that day they had chosen to not do that?

So here we’re buying the 26 tickets for $40 and since the rides took a minimum of 3 tickets per/child and I had two, we’ll you can do the math!

The rides were also very short at 1 minute on all rides?….What a rip off!

So after after paying $20 for the entrance fee, $47 in total for tickets, and food my afternoon cost me over $100 for a hours worth of entertainment.

It was a good fair as the kids love the animals too but the price and length of the rides has to change!!!

I give it a 5/10 for my ratings.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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