Early in Lambton's history, fairs played an important role. They provided an opportunity to visit friends and family, to catch up on local gossip, and to buy and sell produce and livestock. Even today, although they have become much commercialized, Lambton fairs are steeped in tradition and are held may of the same reasons the early pioneers held them.
The first county fair held in Lambton was in Wyoming, in 1846, when it was known as the Plymton Agricultural Fair. It was renamed the Plymton and Wyoming Agricultural Society, on Feb. 22, 1907. The first fair was held on the farm of John Fisher, in Plymton Township. The fair received a new home in 1907 when it was moved to Thames Street in Wyoming.
The next, and perhaps biggest of all the fairs in Lambton, to be established is the Brigden Fair. Established in 1850, this fair has been every Thanksgiving weekend and signifies the close of fair season in the region. The first Brigden Fair was held on Riley's Farm, in Moore.
Three other fairs that made their debut in Lambton County were the Thedford Fair, in 1859; the Florence Fair, in 1863; and the Alvinston Fair, in 1867.
In 1870, Forest held its first fair at the corners of Broadway and Main Streets. Eventually, the fair moved into the old Armouries. It is still housed there today, with the addition of many newer buildings.
It's felt the Alvinston-Brooke Fair was established around 1870 although records are sketchy. The grounds were purchased in 1885. These were given to the township in the 1970's. In 1977, the Brooke-Alvinston-Inwood complex was built.
In 1876, Petrolia added its own fair to the growing list. It was disbanded in 1933 and subsequently revived, with return of prosperous times, in 1946.
Last but not least, Sombra established a fair in 1900, just in time for the turn of the century.
All of these fairs each lend their own distinct contribution to the agricultural and rural communities of Lambton County.
- County of Lambton, 150th Sesqui-Centennial