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Hundreds of thousands of people from across Canada and the U.S will attend what has become North America’s largest outdoor agricultural expo.
This is the first time the International Plowing Match has been in Chatham-Kent since 1979.
More than four years of planning has gone into the event, which takes place on an 850-acre farm from Tuesday until Saturday.
The IPM is considered a major event for Ontario’s agricultural community, dating back more than 100 years.
This is the 101st edition, with people from near and far converging just outside the small village of Pain Court.
The 850-acres has been transformed into a tent city, where you can find plowing, entertainment, a rodeo, the Canadian Cowgirls, helicopter rides and an array of vendors and exhibits.
Organizers say this tent city is a perfect example of community coming together.
“The parade here at the IPM opening ceremony is bigger than some of the ones I’ve been at for Christmas parades, so it’s awesome. We did it, the volunteers,” says co-chair Leon LeClair.
Even though politicians took a break from Queens Park to visit the IPM Tuesday, LeClair insists this week is not about politics.
“We have an education tent, so we’re going to show you the 72 crops we grow here,” says LeClair. “We’ll have the machines that harvest it here so we try to get a strong emphasis on when the school children come here show them where their food comes from.”
Anywhere from 80,000 and 100,000 people are expected to check out the IPM grounds this week. Tickets are available at the gate.
The goal here is to try and break down any barriers between rural and urban communities not only locally, but across North America.
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