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every class of competition. He was the leader and the driving force. To him must go much of the credit for the first successful Western Canadian Agricultural Exhibition.

Judges at the first fair included Donald A. Smith, later Lord Strathcona; J. W. Taylor, resident American Consul, prominent Win­ nipeger A. G. B. Bannatyne and John Norquay, later premier of the young Province.

And thus was born the first Manitoba fair. Its humble beginning has now become an event of historical interest. The contrast between that far distant first fair and today's makes interesting study. In most phases of its operation, the routine followed has changed very little. The most striking feature of the present day Portage Fair is its site, at beautiful Island Park. Tourists say the Portage grounds with those of Woodstock, N.B. rank among the most attractive fair settings in Canada. Other notable features of this better B. class fair, are its well-kept tree-shaded judging ring - its spacious lift­ slab fireproof grandstand and its naturally beautiful race track and infield.

For over ninety years, Portage Fair has consistently presented a high standard of program designed for -

  1. The promotion and improvement of the livestock industry.
  2. The demonstration of the handicrafts of home-cooking and


  1. The display of industrial products.
  2. The promotion of the arts and other cultural pursuits.

In recent years the inclusion of 4H or junior activities has been its most creditable achievement, and what undertaking could be more worthy than this nationwide training of our youth for the responsibilities of home-making and citizenship.

The race track was given its charter in 1891 and is considered by racing men to be one of the best on the North American Continent. These men bring their horses to the Portage track to test them out hefore placing them in the Grand Circuit across the line. Much knowledge, work and care has been credited with maintaining its popularity.

When the track was first started, carloads of Ken tucky soil were brought here and spread over the course. The soil, reputed to be ideal for racing tracks because of its draining ability and non-drifting