ARCOLA - Blustery weather didn’t dampen the spirits of the Town of Arcola last Saturday as a very successful fair was held. The one-day event attracted a large crowd that came from all over southeast Saskatchewan.
The Arcola Fair Society Inc. is a non-profit organization that is a member of the Saskatchewan Association of Agricultural Societies & Exhibitions, or SAASE. Their vision is to see communities come together in positive interaction, experiencing a deep appreciation for its rural heritage while embracing new cultures and expanding borders. The Arcola Fair Society has owned and maintained the Arcola fairgrounds for over 100 years. They welcome the use of the grounds by various community groups.
The day started off with a pancake breakfast sponsored by the RM of Brock. Volunteers from the Arcola Fire Department were the servers. A town-wide parade followed with 31 entries. Fair committee member Judy Naylen was impressed. “Despite the rainy weather, the Arcola parade went off without a hitch. We wish to thank the local businesses and organizations for entering floats and we were excited to see several out-of-town floats and horses too!”
Five teams participated in a slo-pitch tournament. There were antique cars and tractors on display. A trade show was held at Prairie Place Hall. That afternoon, the Saskatchewan Reptile Show entertained the children with an assortment of live turtles, snakes and lizards.
The old exhibit hall showcased children’s drawings, quilts, jams, jellies, baking and many other items. There was a petting zoo operated by Saddle Ridge Farms. In the skating rink, the Arcola Optimist Club sponsored a well-attended Kidzone with several bouncy castles and a climbing wall. A silent auction was held in the Ag Pavilion.
Stacey Grimes Wempe, daughter of Mel and Margaret Grimes, provided the Arcola Fair Society with a $20,000 donation in memory of her parents and brother Clinton. These funds were used as prizes for the Junior Steer and Heifer Show, which had an impressive 132 entries.
The junior cattle show was the highlight of the day. In addition to local and provincial entries, there were also contestants from Alberta and Manitoba. Winners were as follows: Grand Champion Heifer, Zane Short, Reserve Champion Heifer, Ava Loveridge, Grand Champion Steer, Dawson Fladeland, Reserve Champion Steer, Kayden Michelson. One of the many judges working the event was Frank Eaton who, with wife Judy, has returned home to retire.
A food booth was open all day long and operated by Jim and Brenda Milligan. Arcola Rodeo Committee members ran the beer gardens and the day concluded with live entertainment by Chris Byrne. Wendy Bax won the large pot of gold.
Fair committee member Lisa Pittman was extremely pleased with how the day went. “Despite the wind and rain, our first fair since COVID was a hit. This year’s event has been months in the making by a variety of committees. Those who spearheaded those committees worked tirelessly to ensure the Arcola Fair, which featured the Mel Grimes Family Memorial Steer & Heifer Show, went off as a success. We appreciate everyone who came out to attend all our events and to those who volunteered their time to help. With the excitement building and sponsors already lining up for the second Grimes Memorial Junior Cattle Show, we are already planning for June 24, 2023. Mark your calendars and here is hoping for better weather next year.”