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While farmers throughout the region are waiting for news of possible government drought aid, agricultural fairs are already stepping up to the plate.
At least half a dozen fairs in the area are hoping to raise thousands of dollars for farmers.
At the Navan fairgrounds Wednesday, people were getting ready for Thursday's opening.
This year, in response to the ongoing drought, visitors will be encouraged to drop a few dollars into donation jars. Fair president Mark Hamilton hopes to raise a substantial amount of money.
"We have a chance to get the entertainers to promote it on stage," Hamilton said. "And we have big screens we can put signage on that we can ask everybody to get involved. So that's what we're going to do."
Hamilton said it's still unclear how the money will be distributed.
At least five other fairs in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec are gearing up to raise money, too.
The Carp Fair is still about six weeks away, but organizers have decided to station boy scouts at the gate to accept toonie donations. Co-president Paul Caldwell hopes to raise between $7,000 and $10,000.
"On the Thursday night of our fair, opening night, traditionally it's been toonies for troops, but this year we feel the local farmers need help more than the troops do," Caldwell said.
The Navan Fair opens Thursday at 4 p.m.
The Carp Fair runs from Sept. 20 to Sept. 23.