Fergus Show finds a home

FERGUS, Ont. — The annual Fergus Truck Show, billed as one of North America’s biggest and best truck shows, will happen this year on schedule, and in the regular location, organizers announced Monday.

The show’s CFO Wayne Billings told a press conference that “after a superb job” by the staff of the Township of Centre Wellington, organizers reached an agreement with one of the farmers who own land adjacent to the show grounds, so the 2009 show will proceed, even though there will be 20 fewer acres of showground and even though visitor parking will be offsite.

Shuttle buses will operate between the Centre Wellington Sportxplex and the parking sites throughout the show.

The tractor-pull track will also be moved to a new area, but Billings said the changes will be hardly noticeable by the average attendee.

And at the same time as the grounds shrink a bit, the caliber of entertainment grows.

Billings also announced that one of the highlights of the 2009 show will be a Thursday evening concert by Canadian country singing star Terri Clark.

“We are currently in contract negotiations with five more top Canadian country and classic-rock acts and will be making those announcements in the coming weeks,” a proud and somewhat relieved Billings said.

Another addition to the show will be the participation of Robertson’s Amusements “Canada’s Travelling Theme Park,” which will provide a midway for family pleasure, free of charge.

“Your ticket to the show is all you need to ride the midway for as long as you please throughout the weekend,” Billings said.

Earlier in the winter, the future of the four-day show (scheduled for July 23 to 26) was cast into doubt when it became apparent that two people who owned property abutting the showgrounds didn’t want to renew their leases with the show organizers.

Billings had started a search for new grounds but the event planning had fallen behind schedule and there was some doubt about the viability of the 2009 show, even though it has grown every year since it has started and has been an unqualified success.

After announcing the need for new real estate in December, 19 different organizations and individuals contacted Billings with offers of real estate ideas, but the end result was that the municipality, which benefits from the show as a business and a tourist attraction, negotiated with one of the farmers who had previously leased property and persuaded him to continue to do so.

Tickets for the show and reservations for the 220 campsites will start going on sale this Thursday at 9:00 a.m. at www.fergusttruckshow.com.

“I’m so glad to be able to announce the 24th annual event will be in Fergus,” Billings said. “Fergus is where the show started, the residents have been so supportive of our event, it’s wonderful knowing the Fergus Show is staying home.”

Andy Goldie, the Parks and Rec Director of Centre Wellington added, “We’re excited the show will again be held at the Sportsplex. As a team, we are always looking for ways to better serve our community and the recreational amenities will benefit once again from the Fergus Truck Show."

Finally, Centre Wellington’s Manager of Economic Development Dave Rushton added, “I’m happy for the event organizers as well as the community. The spectacular backdrop of our beautiful area offers a unique experience to those attending. The Fergus Truck Show is one of our most successful and long-standing tourism events in Centre Wellington.”

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