The couple were competing in the Hillbilly Challenge at the Hants Exhibition Arena – and what they lacked in speed, they made up for in charisma.
“I was very surprised. I thought for sure we would not be faster than anybody,” said Milligan following the competition that saw teams of two square dance, transport hay bales via wheelbarrow and restack them, ride rubber rodeo horses and carry their partners over obstacles and across the finish line.
“I thought I had a flat tire on my wheelbarrow but I was just dragging pylons, which I didn't realize because I couldn't see anything. I'm impressed that we won something,” Milligan said, laughing following the short awards ceremony.
Chambers said they “absolutely” would try the competition again if it's held in 2018 but said they would be looking at wearing different costumes.
Kathy Johnston-Isenor, owner of Fitness Junkies, and her friend Tara Warner, a local teacher, took home awards for best square dance and best business team. They also won the overall arena challenge and grand prize.
“We were hoping for best square dance, because we did not think we were going to win,” said Johnston-Isenor.
“It was everything we thought it would be because the whole community seemed to show up and everybody was laughing and cheering and having a great time,” she said.
The other teams competing were: Janet Singleton and Shelley Cooke; Sydney Caldwell and Mallory Adams; Leah MacDonald and Christina MacDonald; Ashley Hood and Erin Naugler; Jennifer Perry and Tyler Chandler; Holly Ross and Charlene Fogarty; and youth entrants Allison Power and Jessica Lloyd. Several other pairs from the audience were welcomed as the competition came to a close.
“This is a great event to go with a great annual tradition of the Hants County Exhibition and we hope to be part of the challenge for years to come – and we hope to see more business teams out next year,” said Johnston-Isenor.
Earlier in the day, Ross, of Yoga Hen Adventures, hosted the first ever goat yoga at the exhibition – an event that saw goats wander around people as they struck various poses.
It was a hit with participants and onlookers alike.
The children’s pet parade was revived during the final afternoon of the exhibition and dogs of all sizes, from Pugs to Great Danes, could be seen in the exhibition courtyard.