Take a look at “The Fun Side of Agriculture” this weekend, Aug. 14 and 15, at the Ponoka Stampede Grounds when the Ponoka County Fair will present a variety of things to do and see for all ages.
There will be rides for the kids, and a mini trade fair showcasing agriculture-related vendors. New for 2010 are the ranch rodeo, barrel racing, stock dogs and the wild and woolly sheep demonstration.
President Sherry Gummow said the Ponoka Agriculture Society is more than 100 years old, and through the years the events of the fair have evolved while still maintaining some of the traditional county fair activities such as pie and craft judging and garden competitions.
Saturday offers the full listing of events starting with the 9 a.m. pancake breakfast, community supper at 5:30 p.m. and Celebrity Challenge at 7 p.m. Sunday morning starts with the stock dog competition at 9 a.m. Community Church, pancake breakfast, and gospel concert. The arena finals will take place at 1 p.m., along with the wild and woolly sheep demonstration. At 3 p.m. the bench show awards will be presented.
There will be a horse show, team roping, bike and lawn tractor rodeos (separate!), farm safety displays and the ever-popular bench show. For the kids there are going to be face painting, the petting zoo, barrel train rides, Rainbow the Clown, kids rides and more.
In the Horse Show competitors will demonstrate their horsemanship and training skills in a variety of classes and age groups. Performances begin at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 14 and include halter, English, trail, western, and novelty show classes.
New to the Ponoka County Fair this year is the event known as the ranch rodeo. Based on traditional ranching experiences, the ranch rodeo has been shortened a bit for the fair, and includes four events — cattle doctoring, cattle sorting, cattle branding, and cattle loading.
“We thought it would be something that would make things more interesting for the public. Ranch rodeo is something that has been around for years and is gaining in popularity throughout the province,” explains Dennis Pugh, one of the ranch rodeo organizers.
With eight teams, the ranch rodeo portion of the Ponoka County Fair should offer lots to see over the two-day event. “It’s going to be quite a day, everyone should come and watch it!” says Pugh, “Saturday we go with a full contingent of team ropers, ranch rodeo contestants and barrel racers. Sunday we bring back the teams with the fastest times.”
“We’ve got people now who really have no connection to agriculture, because most of the time in the past you have an aunt or uncle or grandparent who was involved in agriculture, but we now have a whole generation that has no direct connection to agriculture,” Gummow said, explaining why the County Fair is important.
“Chocolate milk doesn’t come from a brown cow.”
The Ponoka County Fair offers something for every taste at a price in any budget — adults $10, youth $5 and kids under 5 are admitted free. The price of admission is for the entire weekend so you can come out both days if you like.