Fair participants try, try, try againBy Jenn Watt
Published May 8, 2018
Kids made music by playing “keys” made of carrots and citrus fruit at the library booth. Families knocked pins by spinning a wooden top through the corridors of “Skittles,” an old fashioned board game, at the museum display. Wool was spun into yarn, feathers and fur transformed into fishing flies, and names embroidered into fabric with an embroidery printer.
The second Try It Fair on May 4 at the high school gave spectators a chance to get involved with crafts and technology, old and new, to learn more about the Highlands. Paired this year with the volunteer fair as well as the Lions Club’s wellness fair, the event offered an unparallelled breadth of experiences in one place.
High school student Bayan Wiso greeted visitors at the door to the gymnasium with her display on the hijab headscarf.
Her bright pink display showed images of women from around the world wearing headscarves and included a video of a woman putting one on. It included information distinguishing types of head coverings, from the hijab, which covers the hair and neck, to the niqab, which also covers the lower face, to the burka, which covers the whole body.
“I wear it for religion and because it’s beautiful,” Bayan said, her headscarf displaying the pattern of a night sky. “It makes me feel special.”
Bayan and her sister Rihab were at the booth and later in the day were joined by other family members. Rihab and Bayan attend Haliburton Highlands Secondary School. With their headscarves, they stand out in the crowd.
Bayan said she doesn’t mind and she welcomes questions about her choice to wear the scarf. “You don’t have to feel scared to ask,” she said. “Come ask me.”
Part of the booth included baklava desserts, a filo pastry with nuts and honey. There were also handouts that outlined how to wear a hijab, explanation of why women wear the hijab and answers to other frequently asked questions.
Spinning certificate students talked about their passion for wool and the art of yarn making. The Ontario Handweavers and Spinners certificate program is a years-long process that teaches new techniques and requires students to complete assignments throughout the year, refining their craft. At their booth, you could spin yarn using a homemade device with a CD on one end, but there was also a spinning wheel for those interested in traditional methods.
Kyla Grexton of Algonquin Highlands said her interest in spinning came from attending the county fair. That inspired her to take a fibre arts course.
“When I sat at the wheel I was drawn right in,” she said.
She’s launched her own company, Keep Me in Stitchez and sells her work around the Highlands.
In the early part of the afternoon, students from the high school visited the fair, which was then opened to the general public until the early evening hours.
The Try It Fair was organized by the Haliburton County Public Library in partnership with Haliburton County Development Corporation, Haliburton Highlands Health Services and the Municipality of Dysart et al along with other supporters and donors.