The annual North Battleford Lions Club Toy and Farm Equipment Show and Sale saw hundreds of people flocking to the Exhibition Grounds last weekend, whether in search of a unique antique, a toy tractor for a future farmer, or a new rifle just in time for hunting season.
Marg & Paul's Antiques was just one of the many booths set up at the event, showcasing an extensive collection of antiques.
"Furniture is our passion," said Marg Gentes, explaining she and husband started collecting antiques a number of years ago and began selling them when they'd collected too many.
The Gentes, who are based in Wetaskiwin, Alta., have travelled from the east coast to the west coast and down to the United States in search of hidden gems.
"It's our retirement business, in a way," said Gentes.
The Gentes aren't the only ones who have turned a hobby into a business; Neil Schikosky's company, The Toy Box, started in a similar manner when he began collecting miniature tractors over 25 years ago.
"That's how it started," said Schikosky. "Buy one or two toys, go to a couple of shows, then the rest is history."
Schikosky's prize collectible is a white 4-150 four-wheel drive tractor. Since only 374 of the models were made, it has a value of around $800, not that Schikosky plans to sell it.
"We had a real one years before," said Schikosky, explaining why the model is his favourite.
The Toy Box was a big hit among the young people at the show and sale, but was likely a second-place contender among the scores of father-son visitors found ogling the impressive array of guns.
Pat Folan, a Lions Club member who has taken part in organizing the event for the past six years, said when guns were added to the show six years ago, the number of tables rented increased from 40 to 142.
"Gun dealers are the easiest guys to get along with you could ever imagine," said Folan, adding he enjoys meeting new people at the event every year.
The Toy and Farm Equipment Show and Sale is one of two major annual fundraisers for the Lions Club, raising an average of $10,000, after costs.
"This year was slower than I would've liked," said Folan, attributing the slightly lower attendance to the good harvesting weather.
"Very few farmers made it in," he said.
While there may not have been many farmers, there were a few self-proclaimed cowboys who came to represent the Saskatchewan Association of Wild West Shooters.
'Dapper' Doc Thompson, a member of the non-profit association, said the group hosts and organizes Wild West shooting events.
"We get to go and recreate the old west," said Thompson, who was all gussied up in outlaw attire. "It's historic and it's just roundabout fun."
The Wild West Shooters weren't the only group with a penchant for the past; Bob Clay rented a table to showcase North West Mounted Police memorabilia. Besides the odd buttons and pins he had for sale, Clay was happy to take the time to talk about a relative of his, William Latimer, a NWMP officer who took part in the 1885 Cut Knife battle as a scout.
Another booth of interest was the Saskatchewan Trapper's Association. Vice-president Leonard Greenhough and member Don Sussums were at the Show and Sale to talk about the ins and outs of trapping.
"We have a renewable resource," said Sussums. "If you cut down a tree it takes a hundred years to grow another one."
Greenhough pointed out some of the traps they had on display, including traps that are illegal to use in Saskatchewan.
He said in order to trap in the province, people must be a member of the association, which requires would-be members to take a course in proper trapping methods and a test.
The Saskatchewan Trapper's Association gives free presentations on trapping, mostly in schools and seniors' homes. For more information go to www.sktrap.sasktelwebsite.net.