by Stephen Dafoe
The Morinville Festival Society is embracing the community’s rural roots and launching their second annual Country Fair later this month. The event takes place Aug. 22 and organizers promise a day of activity from sun up until the sun goes down.
Festival Society President Korien Sampson said the idea for the Country Fair came from Gold Forest Grains owner John Schneider after the Festival Society took over the Morinville Farmers Market from the Friends of the Library. Schneider recommended a bench fair where people could bring their best and biggest produce, pies, jams and other items to be judged at the bench fair.
“As you become the Farmers’ Marker Manager, you understand a bit more about where your food comes from and how it’s grown,” Sampson said. “It’s all about bringing food back to the community and our old time roots. If you’ve never attended a real bench fair or some of these things, it’s lots of fun.”
This year’s event will once again have a bench fair and gardeners and craftspeople are encouraged to enter their items. Sampson said there were some significant cash prizes at the August event. MorinvilleFarmersMarket.com has a booklet online for the various exhibitor categories and what judges will be looking for.
But there is more to the Aug. 22 event than just showing off your pie.
Sampson said the day is full of activities with a country flare. The event starts at 9:30 a.m. with a free pancake breakfast on the road, sponsored by the Lions Club. Registration for the bench fair will take place after the breakfast, followed by judging and awards.
The Festival Society are bringing back old and new events, including the mechanical bull and – this year – a shoot out game. Following on this summer’s Lumberjack Challenge interest, Kat Spencer will return for the Country Fair to teach people how to throw an axe. They will also have a standing log chop challenge that participants can compete in. Adding a non-country component for teens, Sampson said a space maze laser tag event will take place in the curling club. Rounding out the day’s activities is the farmers’ market, watermelon eating contest, three-legged race and a tug of war contest.
Farm to Table Dinner returns
The Festival Society have picked up the reins from the Morinville Community Gardens to put on the second annual Farm to Table Dinner. The event is a community supper where everyone eats fresh local ingredients prepared by regional chefs while sitting at one long communal table.
Tickets for the Farm to Table Dinner are $25 per person up to a $100 maximum per family. They can be purchased at EventBrite.ca under Farm to Table Morinville and locally from Hunters Print and Copy and Home Hardware.
The dinner will be followed by a street dance and an indoor movie.