Farmers Forum staff
KEMPTVILLE — Businesses can still book into ‘Tented City’ and campers can still reserve a spot at the 120-acre RV park for the upcoming 2022 International Plowing Match & Rural Expo along County Rd. 44, at the former Kemptville College campus, just south of Kemptville, in North Grenville Township.
Erecting ‘Tented City’ was slated to begin Aug. 1, in advance of the IPM’s Sept. 20-24 return after a two-year pandemic pause. Event marketing director and advertising director Cassidy Reaney says the involved crews could always use more volunteers to assist with setting up the tented city as well as other “labour-intensive” jobs during the IPM itself, such as garbage collection.
Reaney reported July 26 that 660 volunteers had so far registered to work for some period of time at the IPM across 47 different job categories. “We’re pretty happy with that number,” she said, while noting that more helpers are always welcome. “There are different shifts through all five days of the IPM.”
By no means do all the jobs involve heavy lifting. Available volunteer positions include working the admission gates, greeting from a transport wagon, helping with traffic, working at the RV park, helping with the provincial Queen of the Furrow competition and helping with the plowing competitions.
The event is expected to draw about 75,000 people to the community.
To help out, first register online to volunteer at the 2022 IPM: https://www.plowingmatch.org/ipm2022/get-involved/become-a-volunteer. You may be able to get involved on shorter notice by calling one of the committee chairs, but you will still need to fill out the online form, according to Reaney. A volunteer orientation event is scheduled Sept. 11.
Exhibitor space bookings in the tented city were still “a little slow,” though Reaney was optimistic it would fill up. “We’re also looking for more food vendors.”
They also need a loan of 30 to 40 all-terrain utility vehicles.
Sites at the temporary RV park were going fast, however, with 500 out of 650 spots booked by July 26.
The IPM is the signature event of the Ontario Plowmens’ Association, moving to a different locale in the province each year for 110 years. The actual “plowing match” at the 2022 edition will take place a few kilometres away from the tented city in Kemptville — at the Acton’s Corners Bennett family farm on County Road 43.
Beyond the furrow-making, IPM-goers enjoy a variety of spectacles and entertainment. Reaney reported about 40 acts have been booked for this year’s edition so far. Among the live music bands scheduled to take the stage are Celtic rock band Mud Men, regional favourites Ambush, Eddie and the Stingrays, The Derringers, and Freddy Vette and his Rhinestone Plowboys.