‘Close to record high’ 5,000+ attend gun show

“Look, dad, we caught the big one!” Young brothers, Lane Niedzielski, 4, left, and William Niedzielski, 6, of High Prairie, hold a replica lake trout with Canadian Wildlife Adventures owner Kevin McNeil, of McLennan.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

More than 5,000 people attended the 21st annual High Prairie Gun and Sportsman Show on April 20-21.

“It was probably one of the biggest and best shows we’ve hosted,” says Darrell Basarab, longtime chairman of the show organized by High Prairie Fish and Game Association.

“We had well over 5,000 people attend – it’s close to a record high.”

However, organizers do not keep accurate figures, since the numbers include the exhibitors, volunteers and sponsors who get free entry.

“You can tell how busy it is by the volume of traffic in the causeway between the Sports Palace and the Gordon Buchanan Recreation Centre,” Basarab says.

“On the opening day, it was slow-moving traffic, almost shoulder to shoulder from 11 o’clock to two o’clock.”

Sold out the last seven shows with 150 vendors and 400 tables, the event featured more than 50 vendors in
the gun room in the Gordon Buchanan Recreation Centre, more than 50 in the Artisans’ Market in the curling rink and the causeway and about 45 in the Sports Palace.

“We got lots of comments from vendors, who say our community support, involvement and volunteers are great,” Basarab says.

“It’s a feather in our community’s cap.

“Without the support from local businesses, organizations and volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to host such as large event.”

Vendors travelled from all over Alberta and some parts of British Columbia and Alberta.

The popular 50/50 draw was another big hit with $10,045 dollars collected on Saturday and $6,215 on Sunday, all processed on computer.

Winners received half of the pot.

“If we didn’t have a computer glitch Saturday, we could have reached $12,000,” Basarab says.

Basarab and the association thank all those who supported the event.

Organizers are already planning for the 22nd annual show in 2025 set for April 26-27, the weekend after Easter, Basarab says.

A-1 Western Wear, Tack and Gifts in High Prairie promotes its products. Left-right, are owner Teresa Yanishewski, Doug Hewitt and Marina Robertson, both of Grimshaw.
Young brothers, Markus Grant, 7, and Mikah Grant, 3, of High Prairie, take aim with toy wooden rifles at the Artisans’ Market.
John Neufeld, of Grimshaw, left, and his son, Ethan Neufeld, check out guns and rifles at the gun show.
Gun vendor Iain McClean, left, of Edmonton, shows some product to Caleb Mohan, of Little Smoky.
Alberta Conservation Association biologists Clayton Temple, left, and Nikita Lebedynski, provide a variety of printed information and guides.
Shadowlands Welding in Valleyview displays some of its work with Chelsea Turner, left, and Collin Turner.
Ready to start mowing the lawn? McKinley King, 5, of Valleyview, sits in the driver’s seat of a ride-on lawn mower on display by Martin Deerline in High Prairie.
Crosby Rich, of High Prairie, left, sits in an Action Trackchair beside western Canadian dealer Randy Schlender, of Daysland, who stands in another Trackchair to demonstrate its versatility.
Three people have their eye on a side-by-side on display by Maximum Power Sports, of Peace River. Pauline Laurin, of McLennan, sits in the driver’s seat with Henri Laurin in the passenger seat. Richard Deslauriers stands beside the vehicle.
Walker Perry, 18 months old, looks at a cougar as he is held by his mother Kailynn Odegaard, of Slave Lake, at the display of DB (Dave Booth) Taxidermy in Slave Lake.
Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers grin and “bear” it. Left-right, are Xander Kipling, Logan Proulx, Cody Meise, Morgan Rosadiuk and Logan Unreiner.
Reece Slade, 11, of Sunset House, sits in the driver’s seat of a quad on display by The Honda Shop in High Prairie as his sister Richelle Slade, 9, sits behind.
Deers n’ Steers Custom Cutting is promoted by Kate Lovsin, left, and owner Matt Lovsin.
Joe MacDonald, of Debolt, right, tests a rifle before he buys it from vendor Jim Sawatzky, of Valleyview.

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