Agricultural society says Peterborough Exhibition is not moving to Kawartha Downs in 2023

Small selection of events may be held at Kawartha Downs in 2023 but details are not confirmed

The Peterborough Exhibition, which has taken place at Morrow Park in Peterborough annually since 1885, will move to Kawartha Downs in Fraserville for 2023. The Peterborough Agricultural Society cancelled the exhibition at Morrow Park in 2022 due to a dispute with the City of Peterborough which is building a sports complex in the west portion of the park. (Photo: Peterborough Agricultural Society)
The Peterborough Exhibition, which has taken place at Morrow Park in Peterborough annually since 1885, will move to Kawartha Downs in Fraserville for 2023. The Peterborough Agricultural Society cancelled the exhibition at Morrow Park in 2022 due to a dispute with the City of Peterborough which is building a sports complex in the west portion of the park. (Photo: Peterborough Agricultural Society)

The Peterborough Agricultural Society says the Peterborough Exhibition is not moving to Kawartha Downs in 2023.

On Sunday (November 20), Kawartha Downs issued a media release stating “The Peterborough Exhibition Fair will be hosted at Kawartha Downs in 2023.” On Tuesday, the Peterborough Agricultural Society issued a statement indicating the Peterborough Exhibition will not be hosted at the Fraserville entertainment complex.

“A release that was issued on (Sunday) by Kawartha Downs incorrectly implied that the Peterborough Exhibition is relocating to Kawartha Downs,” the statement reads. “The Peterborough
Agricultural Society, organizers of the annual Peterborough Exhibition, has not authorized the use of the name Peterborough Exhibition by Kawartha Downs.”

“The Peterborough Agricultural Society has held events at Kawartha Downs during the pandemic and have had discussions with Kawartha Downs about the possibility of holding a small selection of events at their facility. Details for the 2023 season are not confirmed. Furthermore, Kawartha Downs is in no way associated with the Peterborough Exhibition or the Peterborough Agricultural Society.”

The original story based on the media release by Kawartha Downs is provided below.

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Original story

After almost 135 years at Morrow Park, the Peterborough Exhibition will be moving to Kawartha Downs in Fraserville in 2023.

The announcement is included in a media release the entertainment complex issued on Sunday (November 20) for an upcoming media conference on December 2 where Kawartha Downs ownership and management will share their 2023 event season.

“This is an exciting community partnership for all involved, and guests can expect live entertainment, motorized sporting events, agricultural shows, and much more,” the media release states.

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The annual four-day agricultural exhibition, which has taken place at Morrow Park on Lansdowne Street in Peterborough every year since 1885, was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

This past June, the Peterborough Agricultural Society announced it would not be holding the 2022 Peterborough Exhibition at Morrow Park due to an ongoing dispute with the City of Peterborough, which is constructing a $62-million sports complex in the west portion of the park.

The Morrow family gifted the 27-acre property to the City of Peterborough in 1938 on the condition that it remain available for the use of the Peterborough Agricultural Society, a condition reaffirmed in the Peterborough Act of 1984, which states the society would be able to use Morrow Park “as an exhibition grounds for an annual exhibition and for other purposes … in perpetuity” or the property would revert to the Morrow family.

After cancelling the Peterborough Exhibition at Morrow Park for 2022, the Peterborough Agricultural Society held its homecraft show at the Morrow Building in Peterborough and animal shows at Kawartha Downs, Douro, and Bethany.

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Located on Highway 28 between Peterborough and Millbrook, Kawartha Downs opened as a horse racing track in 1972 after the Peterborough Racing Association’s lease with the Peterborough Agricultural Society was terminated and horse racing at Morrow Park ended. In 1999, Kawartha Downs expanded to include Kawartha Speedway and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming slot facility.

As part of its 50th anniversary this year, Kawartha Downs has developed a revitalization plan that includes an agricultural fairground, eliminating car racing to focus only on horse racing, a large concert venue, residential development, and more.

In 2023 Kawartha Downs will be hosting a multi-day monster truck show, a multi-day retro concert, a larger Kawartha Country Music Festival, multiple truck and tractor pull competitions, and a refreshed demolition derby. More details will be announced at the December 2nd media conference.

 

This story has been updated to include the statement from the Peterborough Agricultural Society.