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Estevan Exhibition Association welcomes new president, prepares for big weekend

Crystal Ross was elected as the new president of the Estevan Exhibition Association during the association's annual general meeting. She said that she is just getting her feet wet, but she is really excited about the new role.

ESTEVAN - The Estevan Exhibition Association has welcomed a new president.

Crystal Ross was elected as the new president during the association's annual general meeting. She said that she is just getting her feet wet, but she is really excited about the new role.

Ross and her family have been involved with the exhibition for years, and she felt it was the time for her to step forward. Ross has been a director with the association but mainly volunteered where help was needed, and was indirectly involved as a 4-H leader.

"I just think it's my turn. And I'm passionate about the EEA. I see lots of things that I want to be involved with a little bit more than just being a director. So I thought I'd step into that role and give it a try for a couple of years, I believe that's what my term is.

"I have been on those grounds, involved in one form or another for over 20 years. And that goes back to my father-in-law, and then my husband (Chad Ross, past EEA president), and we were 4-H leaders. So we've always had our bodies very closely associated with that association," Ross said, adding that her husband’s grandfather was involved with the EEA as well.

"It's generational involvement with the Estevan Exhibition Association."

She said the EEA mission statement strongly resonates with her and her family's reasoning for being a part of the organization for many years.

It says: "The directors and members of the Estevan Exhibition Association will team build the association and its affiliates with value and respect for its volunteers, patrons and employees. The EAA will strive towards enhancing the positive quality of life for our youth and our surrounding community. The EEA will act as stewards in a professional and transparent manner while maintaining and improving the Estevan Exhibition Association grounds and infrastructure with responsible and forthcoming decisions."

"Just giving back, I think that's my why, being part of something bigger than I am. And it's a great board. I'm very fortunate, the people surrounding that table are so full of talent, and each of them brings in different assets to that table. And it's just a blessing to work with people with the same ideas and goals to make the association work," Ross said.

As a new president, Ross and the board have a big endeavour ahead of them – a four-day exciting community event that will take hundreds and hundreds of joint volunteer hours to put together.

"We are going to have the midway and the rodeo together for the first time in over 20 years on those grounds. Putting on a midway alone is a huge endeavour, and putting on a rodeo alone is a huge endeavour. So we thought we'd try putting it together. That's what's on the agenda. And it's really hard to think of anything other than that at the moment," Ross said.

She noted that until then there won't be any other major events or activities rather than the EEA's day-to-day operations. The board hopes to bring the Domestics Art Show back again, and also have many other exciting activities happening throughout the days of the fair and rodeo. The final decisions on how those four days will look haven't been made. While the idea of having the two big activities together was in the works since 2020, realistically the board couldn't start planning anything until recently, and now they have lots to do.

"We were supposed to have the fair and rodeo together with the domestic show and an ag. pavilion with a whole bunch of entities in 2020. And then COVID hit and now that COVID is released, we've got three months to get this underway. So we have to be very careful how deep we get with the events that we plan. The domestic show, I do hope that is going to come back. But I can't give a for sure answer on that one yet," Ross said.

"Being the first time we're hosting this event together, we want to make sure that the midway and the rodeo are exceptional events. If we start adding a whole bunch of little events and complicate things, are we going to be able to excel at the rodeo and the midway? We have to be conscious of our resources. We have big dreams. Maybe this year is the year to get our feet wet, make it a spectacular event and then potentially in 2023, add more entities. There's lots of things, lawn tractor races, derbies… But we have to focus on what's attainable this year," she added.

She said the board is very excited about the potential opportunities of growing the event, but they want to make sure that everything runs smooth.

Ross said they will need many volunteers to organize and run the fair and rodeo.

"We are always, always, always looking for volunteers to come forward. We have so many different entities that need volunteers. We're always putting a call out for volunteers. We're going to have cleanup days, we're going to have painting days. We're going to have lots of things at the events. We need security, we need garbage cleanup, we need so many things," Ross said.

"So if somebody wants to come and bring a hammer or run a paintbrush or show their kids how to give back to the community, that is never going to get turned away."

If someone wants to join the dedicated group and help ahead of and/or during the event, they can phone the association at (306) 634-5595.

The Estevan Fair and Rodeo will occur on June 9-12 at the exhibition grounds.

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