Hundreds of people gathered at the Innisfree Agriplex for the 43rd Annual Fair on August 9, hosted by the Innisfree & District Agricultural Society.
“It was a very successful event again this year with a lot of entries in the parade and bench show. A huge shout out to the volunteers for setting up as well as the vendors for coming out,” said board member Tracy Rudolf. “Without the community none of this happens, and it keeps small towns alive for the young people.”
She noted that with most of their core group of volunteers being farmers that it is a busy time of year, but that when they arrive they are able to get a lot done in a short time. Everything kicked off with a pancake breakfast and parade in the morning. They introduced mutton busting this year which drew a number of people from out of town, and the local hall board prepared the lunch. There was fun for all ages with bouncy houses, face painting, an ice cream truck, a pig race, a variety of vendors, and beer gardens.
“We had a great time; with family from here we come every year,” said Marley Lawrence from Sherwood Park.
One of the vendors, Lisa Thiessen, from Lavoy noted that attending these types of events is a great way to meet other people. She suggested that people support local or grow their own produce. When asked why not just buy it at the store, she said it loses quality after being trucked, and is more nutritious than store-bought with no pesticides or fertilizers.
“My produce is picked fresh; the taste is incomparable,” said Thiessen, who also had a selection of preserves.
Innisfree’s Koreen Fowler showcased Mama K’s Homemade Salsa, and said she had been making it for years, and then went from one flavour to approximately 12 flavours.
Also from Innisfree, Donna Marie - The Leather Lady, said she began her hobby in Grade 8. With her father being a hunter, she was given the hide, collected feathers, and her mom bought her beads to make a leather shirt. Years later while recovering from an accident, she picked it up again and offered a range of handi-crafts with leather, rabbit fur, shed antler, etc.
“When I moved here in ‘97 the price was right. I still like everything about this community; there are just enough businesses to get you by, and there are very friendly people,” said Marie.
Volunteer, Kenzy G., said the day was a great way to bring the community together and see smiles all around.