Thousands expected to attend SARDA show

Emily Plihal
Local Journalism
Initiative Reporter

SARDA Agricultural Research will be hosting its much-anticipated biennial trade show this weekend in Falher.
The trade show will be held in Falher from March 16-18 and will feature some new elements for all interest groups. The main event will take place at the Falher Regional Recreation Complex, with a variety of exhibitor booths that will provide information on everything from farming to financial services to local municipalities.
“We’re excited to see everybody again,” says Organizer Nolan Lavoie, noting there’s an excitement building amongst exhibitors who are signed up to take part in the show.
“There’s quite a bit of new innovation in the industry, and many of our exhibitors are set to show what they’ve got to offer,” he adds.
This is the first agricultural trade show in Falher since 2019, due to the Covid pandemic. The show is one of the largest agricultural shows in the province, drawing in visitors from around Northern Alberta.
“We will have over 150 exhibits on display, and we are very excited for the show,” says Lavoie.
The event will take place Thursday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The exhibitors will be in both the arena and curling rink, with some larger equipment on display in the parking lot of the complex.
“Friday is usually the busiest day of the weekend,” says Lavoie. “Quite a few people will be roaming through and it will be fun for everyone, including people just coming to check out what’s there.”
Thursday will kick off information sessions at the Log Cabin with Nutrien starting at 11 a.m.. Friday will provide a whole day of seminars at the Log Cabin, with UPL starting the morning at 10 a.m., Richardson Pioneer at 11:30, Smoky Hemp at 1:30 and MNP at 3 pm.
Exhibitors will be greeted with an exhibitor appreciation dinner on Thursday night from 6-8 p.m. with a free beef on a bun supper. Wine will be provided to them by Falher town council.
Friday evening will include a complimentary producer and exhibitor mingle, which Lavoie explains will include refreshments and finger foods. The event will be sponsored by St. Isidore Co-op and will run from 5:30-8:30 p.m. The event will be only for people over 18 years of age.
“It’ll be a great opportunity for our producers and exhibitors to have more of an in-depth conversation,” says Lavoie.
“This will be in place of the entertainment we have had in the past. As a result of skyrocketing costs, we’ve had to consider different options.”
Kids can be entertained on Saturday, as Dan the Balloon Man and Happy Cloud Face and Body Painting will both be in the curling rink. Parents can head over there with their children to be entertained.
Also being held on Friday, March 17 is the Women’s Market at the Centre Chevaliers to align with the trade show. This will be hosted by the Northern Rural Chicks from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The fully-booked event will feature home-based businesses and crafters. Two local wineries will also be on hand, Shady Orchard & Winery from High Prairie, and Stolen Harvest Meadery of Grovedale, to provide a wine tasting.
Lavoie says he and the SARDA board hope people can come out to learn about some of the new technology being offered, to check out all the various exhibitions and to support the SARDA Trade Show.

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