Ponoka’s annual ag showcase primed and ready

Fun weekend planned with bench show, yard competition and bus tour

It remains one of the few shows of its kind in Alberta and continues to buck the trends.

The Ponoka Agricultural Society’s annual Home, Hobby and Horticultural Show is getting ready for its big weekend Aug. 17 and 18 at the Royal Canadian Legion auditorium in Ponoka. The show is back to its usual weekend after being held a week earlier in 2017.

Joyce Winter, treasurer of the ag society and chair of the show, explained the hope is that the event will attract similar entry numbers as last year.

“It’s been moved back to its normal dates and, while Rimbey’s show is at the same time, we don’t anticipate losing entries as we don’t believe there is much crossover between the two shows,” she said.

“Last year, we saw a number of new entries — people who had never entered the show at all before — so we encourage everyone to come and enter. There are literally categories for everyone and everything as we want to try to include everyone in the show. And if there isn’t a category for something, let us know and we can figure out a place to fit it.”

The show has been a staple in Ponoka — with the exception of a few years in the 1950s — since the first show was held in 1904, the year before Alberta officially became a province. And since 1967, the show has included more than just the usual flowers, food and agricultural items.

Yards and Garden

Another change this year is the moving of the bus tour to get a closer look at the entries in the society’s Rural and Urban Landscaping and Vegetable Garden contest.

While entry deadline for the contest is Aug. 3 — with the judging taking place the next day — anyone can hop on the free tour that starts at 10 a.m. Aug. 18.

More information or to register for both the contest and the bus tour is available by calling Janet at (403) 704-6119.

That will be followed up at 1:30 p.m. with a new idea — an afternoon tea (or coffee) complete with treats, all for a donation.

“We are hoping that by changing the day of the tour will help draw more for the tour,” Winter stated, adding its hoped the tea will generate a bit more traffic before the show awards are handed out at 4 p.m.

In addition, the annual community church service will be held at the Ponoka Curling rink Aug. 19 at 10 a.m.

And while not affiliated with the show, Winter noted another event that weekend — Alberta’s Open Farm Days — will feature various agricultural activities and the support it receives from the business community.

Open Farm Days, offering tours and other activities, will include Ponoka area operations MSW Farms, Rock Ridge Dairy as well as Lacombe area’s Flying Cross Ranch, Blindman Brewing, Gull Valley Greenhouses and Alberta Canola’s crushing machine at the Lacombe Research Centre.

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