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Something for everyone at growing La Corey Farm Fair

On June 15, the Willow Prairie Agricultural Society hosted the annual farm fair at the La Corey fairgrounds.

LA COREY – On June 15, the Willow Prairie Agricultural Society hosted the annual farm fair at the La Corey fairgrounds.  

The Willow Prairie Ag Society states they’ve been “Connecting our local agricultural community since 1982,” and the recent farm fair was successful in bringing the community together once again. 

“I think this is the biggest event La Corey has ever had,” says volunteer and organizer Clayton MacKinnon. “We got a lot of support from the halls nearby and from our sponsors to make it a reality. It wouldn’t have been possible without all of them.”  

“I can’t say enough about the way the community came out for it. There was so much support all around. Like, farm equipment that was out there was brought by Barry [Kalinski], he asked what we needed. The MD brought out the radar gun for the slap shot... one kid almost got 100 km an hour,” continues Mackinnon. 

The farm fair included a rhubarb festival, a car show, kids' zone, artisan market, fur and flock market, equipment displays, live entertainment and open mic, and a quilt show. A raffle was held with major prizes including an ATV, a hot tub, and a robotic mower. 

The evening portion of the day included a beer garden and food trucks available. TVs donated by The Brick were brought in for an Oilers game watch party. Shelby Dutton entertained the crowd before local celebrity Clayton Bellamy performed a little rock concert to finish off the evening. 

Mackinnon was brimming with enthusiasm as he spoke about the success of the event and the positive feedback from the community.  

“Everyone came out, which is so nice to see. It was a chance for everyone to gather. People would say, ‘I saw neighbours I haven't seen in years,’ and that's the whole point. That’s why we put this on.” 

Mackinnon adds, “We had 600 people last year and we wanted to double that number and go for 1,200, and I think through that gate for the entire day it was over 1,500 people... We blew past our number and ran out of wristbands. It was great, the community came out in an amazing way.” 

The rhubarb festival included a rhubarb pie contest judged by Judy Cabay, Ronda Kurek, and MD of Bonnyville Coun. Don Slipchuck. They took their deliberations very seriously. 

First place went to Stacy Lothian, second place went to Jessica Winchester, and third place went to Tracy Fesiuk. 

After the contest, Marcel Sylvestre of Panache Realty announced that his company had purchased all the pies, and that they would be served for free to everyone. 

“Prior to the quilt show we did a raffle, and it was for three quilts up at the front in memory of Suzanne Lynes - she was a local quilter who passed away this past year. So, in honour of her, they put together this raffle... The local quilting ladies took her fabric and weaved them into their own quilt design. They all worked together with her original fabric,” says Mackinnon 

Quilt show winners included ‘best in show’ going to Anna Schnieder, ‘best farm theme’ going to Mary Schnieder, and ‘people’s choice’ was awarded to Irene Scharf. 

Mackinnon spoke of the wonderful volunteer effort that made the day possible, and says they are always looking for more volunteers, especially as they plan to grow the event further. 

“Next year, we’d like to do a daytime beer garden, so the parents can sit in the garden and watch the kids play... We would love to get a ferris wheel in one day,” says Mackinnon. “If we are successful and can make some profit, we do want to turn that [money] into a scholarship program for the local area, in an agricultural focus. So that’s what we’re working towards.” 

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