Sunny Barrhead enjoys three-day party
Blue Heron Fair Days turn into memorable jamboree
What a wonderful way to spend three days in August!
Sun-blessed Barrhead became the fun place to be last weekend as hundreds of families enjoyed the Blue Heron Fair Days. So many highlights, so many memories.
To some it was the novelty of having a band provide oomph to Saturday’s grand parade. The wail of bagpipes and the thump of massive drums brought a Scottish flavour to the people-lined streets.
For many children it was the rodeo thrills of mutton bustin’, competing to remove a ribbon from a calf or engaging in the mass scramble of a boot race.
And to others it was mounted gunslingers testing their horsemanship and marksmanship, a first ever Jackpot Gymkhana and sprawling on a blanket at dusk and watching the animated movie, The Lorax.
Yes, so many highlights, so many memories.
The fair got under way with a traditional curtain raiser: the beef show. Then the Demolition Derby (see Page 21A) gatecrashed the party with its Frightful Friday performance.
Come Saturday morning people began lining the streets early, trying to ensure a good place to sit and watch or take photographs. There was extra excitement this year because of the much-anticipated appearance of Edmonton’s Ben Nevis Pipe Band.
The band fell in behind RCMP officers Con. Kirk Fisler and Con. Craig Connolly, who led the parade in their distinctive Mountie uniforms.
Among the most decorative floats were those from Neerlandia which had featured in the hamlet’s centennial celebration the week before. The Children of Asaph choir, tractor-pulled cow sheds and the sight of people wearing wooden clogs and authentic Dutch costumes brought music, colour and a touch of theatre to the spectacle.
There were also military vehicles, antique cars, ancient tractors, Edmonton Motor Corps scooters and umbrella-shaded buggies, mixed in with appearances by MLA for Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock, Maureen Kubinec, Barrhead County Council, Barrhead Town Council and Pembina Hills school board members, not to mention at least one Elvis look-alike.
Spectators were impressed: the Ben Nevis band was a hit and, of course, children loved the traditional shower of candy.
“I thought it was one of the better parades,” said Dennis Ranger, while Bonnie Ranger loved the addition of the bagpipes.
“Yes it was very nice to have the music,” she said. “It was an excellent parade.”
Seven-year-old Kyla Gousseau, who was accompanied by grandmother, Cathy, also had a great time, as did the Myrehaug family. Words like “cool” summed up their feelings.
Ten-year-old Rebecca Myrehaug, sister Emily (13) and their friend, Maci Reschke (nine), scooped up plenty of candy from the floats, enough to last several days.
“I loved the suckers (lollipops),” said Rebecca.
The action then swung back to the fair grounds for the Wildrose Rodeo, which featured seven major events: bareback, saddle bronc, bull riding, team roping, steer wrestling, ladies barrel race and calf racing. There were also junior barrels, novice horse, pee wee barrels, junior bulls, junior break-away roping and the wild pony rides.
While cowboys and cowgirls showed off their skills, a host of family attractions was on offer nearby, including extreme bungee jumping, face painting, pony rides and a petting zoo.
Eight-year-old Krista LeFebvre could hardly wait to get harnessed for her first ever extreme bungee jumping.
“I loved it,” she said, firmly rejecting any suggestion that it was scary.
In the petting zoo, three-year-old Alyssa Laun held on to a chicken as if her life depended on it.
According to her mother, Alyssa is fearless when it comes to animals.
Meanwhile, a stone’s throw away from the fair grounds was a slowpitch tournament (see Sports), which provided plenty of excitement through the three days. Several teams from Barrhead were involved.
The fair climaxed on Sunday evening with a performance by the Country Music Legends, starring Jimmy Arthur Ordge.
It ensured the party ended with a swing.
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