High Prairie Museum planning Old-Time Country Fair

Richard Froese
South Peace News

An old-fashioned country fair with a bench show and fun activities for all ages returns to High Prairie in early September as part of Alberta Culture Days.

The Old-Time County Fair is set for Sept. 9-10 at the Legion Hall hosted by the High Prairie and District Museum Society and co-hosted by the High Prairie and District Garden Club.

A bench show, fair food, children’s activities including games, face painting and tattoos are part of the event Sept. 9 from 1-4 p.m.

Admission is free.

A harvest breakfast is set for Sept. 10 from 9:30-11 a.m.

The event will celebrate old-time agricultural events that were once so popular in the area, museum society executive director Darlene Adams says.

“The main focus will be an old-time bench show,” Adams says.

“A bench show is a contest where exhibitors compete in different categories such as home canning, baking, flowers, grains and seeds, crafts, sewing and artwork.

“We want to make the categories as culturally diverse as possible and include all ages.”

A bench show was a term used only in Alberta.

High points prizes will be awarded for divisions of men’s seniors (65-plus), ladies’ seniors (65-plus), men’s 18-64, ladies 18-64, boys 13-17, girls 13-17, boys 7-12, girls 7-12, boys 6-and-under and girls 6-and under.

Only one entry per class number per exhibitor is allowed.

Categories for children ages 12-and-under include art, crafts, photography, baking, vegetables and flowers.

Categories for teens ages 13-17, adults ages 18-64 and seniors ages 65-plus include handicrafts and needlework, knitting and crocheting, needlecraft, machine embroidery, beadwork, quilting, sewing, crafts, baking, preserving fruits vegetables and wine, fresh vegetables, farm produce, flowers and houseplants, art and photography.

Adams says the time is ripe to stage an event that reflects the region’s rural roots.

“The museum society feels that this year, we have the volunteer base, with the interest that has been shown by community members and organization to collaborate with us, to host this event,” Adams says.

“We have had numerous conversations with community members over the years about how much they miss the ‘old bench shows’ and would it be possible for the museum to host something like this?”

All entries forms must be submitted at the museum by Aug. 30 by 4:30 p.m. No exceptions.

The museum is open Monday to Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Fair books with categories, rules and entry forms are available at the museum, the Town of High Prairie office, the Big Lakes County office in High Prairie, the High Prairie Native Friendship Centre, Fresh Inspirations, Spotted Fawn Coffee Roasters and the H&S Dollar Store.

For more information, please phone the museum at (780) 523-2601.

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