Ten days at the Royal Winter Fair is over. They were exhausting days, but I am grateful for the opportunity to work as a Social Media Intern. We use Social Media daily, but this allowed me to utilize it from a professional standpoint. Across three Twitter accounts and an Instagram account, the Royal Fair’s audience is around 15,000+ followers. It was important to share relevant and engaging information that interests and informs followers. I covered the morning and afternoon horse shows; there was an intern for the evening shows, the Agricultural competitions, the culinary shows, and the animal theatre. Plus we all covered other important events throughout Royal Fair.
There was a lot to take away from this experience and apply to the PR program I start in January. CityTV attended the horse show to interview their athlete of the week. It was perfect for social media and also gave me an inside look at the coordination between media and the professionals running the fair. I learned about how to handle delicate subjects such as illness or injury – in both humans and animals. I worked on tweaking my Tweets (haha) to maximize information given in a few short sentences. I got to interact with Olympic athletes, vendors, young children, and famous entertainers from an entirely new perspective. This experience was valuable and I am enthusiastic to continue my journey in Public Relations.
If you have never been to the fair, I am going to tell you why you better check it out next year! The Royal Fair has a few different slogans; my favorites are “Every November, the Country Comes to the City” and “Farm, Fresh, Fun.” The Royal Fair has a long history since inception in 1922; how often can you find rich agricultural traditional in the heart of the city. It is all at the Royal Fair. It is imperative to support local farmers, businesses, and individuals. To borrow the saying “Farmers feed cities,” directly points to the importance of agriculture in Canada. Agriculture is essential, but in the modern era, we quickly forget about its significance. We must put revenue back in the local economy. The Fair reminds us of the country, from the comfort of our own metropolis core. And there is SO much to see!
The Royal Horse show is always a huge event and showcases the top riders across Canada and Internationally. From hunters who jump with beauty and grace, to jumpers that focus on precision and speed, to talented drivers who are behind the lines of everything from welsh ponies to the six horse hitch, to the suppleness and athleticism of dressage, and finally the high adrenaline of the rodeo. And you can’t forget entertainers like Guy McLean who show a unique bond with his horses.
Those in the equestrian community can shop to their hearts content in the vendor area. What could be better than all your favorite tack shops in one place? Beyond the equestrian shops, there are many food vendors and artisan shops. You can pick up your favourite cheese, buy beautiful handmade Christmas decorations or even purchase an alpaca scarf! There are so many unique local shops and I encourage everyone to check them out!
When you finish shopping, wander towards the giant vegetables and check out the winner. Or take in the beautiful butter sculptures. If you have kids (or are young at heart) there is the petting zoo, mechanical bull, or Equi-mania where you can learn about horses. Be sure to stop by the Christmas tree decorating contest in the Winter Gallery or visit Santa with real reindeer!
If you are a “foody,” visit the culinary stage to watch demonstrations and culinary competitions. Grab a glass of wine or local craft beer while watching mouthwatering food being created. After, have dinner at one of the Royal Fair’s many restaurants.
The President’s Choice animal theatre has everything from Super Dogs, to Guy McLean demos, to Jack Russell races, to rabbit show jumping, and horse demonstrations. The Scotia Bank Ring of Excellence is where you can view sheep and cow competitions. This is your chance to see a Holstein sell for more than $20,000! Later head to the barns and meet these wonderful animals.On the last day check out the Rabbit and Cavy show!
Finally, take a stroll down to the Horse Palace to see magnificent show set ups, walk past FEI Olympic horses, and watch the breed shows. What more could you want to do? Perhaps dress in black tie for the evening show and watch international riders from around the world!