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Ogema Summer Fair maintains that country fair charm

The Ogema Summer Fair is celebrating its 105th anniversary with the same family-fun charm it's always had
barrel racing stock
For the first time, the Ogema Barrel Bash is happening the same day as the Summer Fair. (Shutterstock)

The Ogema Agricultural Society planned their first fair 105 years ago, and the tradition continues on this year with a packed day of events on July 13.

This agriculture-focused family fair is the longest running fair in small-town Saskatchewan and although it has changed a bit since it’s inaugural days, the fair holds onto its ag-based background.

Shelanne Longley, president of the Ogema Agricultural Society, promises a big fair this year, and credits the ongoing success of the event to the support of the community — those who live in town currently and in the past. 

“We've got a really good progressive group of people here that focus on the events that happen in the community and keep them going every year. We've got a really good volunteer base,” said Longley. “A lot of our turnout are people who have lived here in the past. They tend to come back every year for it.”

Things kick off with a pancake breakfast at 7 a.m., followed by the parade at 10 a.m. down Main Street — featuring floats from local businesses and organizations, as well as bikers, horse riders, and so on. 

After the parade route, crowds can head over to the Ogema Arena for the Kids Rodeo — featuring classics like the egg and spoon race, bareback barrel racing, and a surprise event yet to be announced — or to the exhibits displayed in the rink, both of which start at 11 a.m. 

The slo-pitch tournament is also getting going at 11 a.m., running all day, as well as the Kid's Corner and Petting Zoo. 

At 11:30 a.m., the Bike & Pet Show will begin judging at the rink — and there’s no limit on the pets you can enter, whether it’s your dog, cat, or goat. 

The annual horse pull begins at 1 p.m., followed by the return of the 10th annual Barrel Bash at 3 p.m. Over 200 contestants usually turn up for the weekend-long barrel racing competition, which is taking place the same weekend as the fair this year. 

“This year we’ve decided to run it at the same time, hoping that both events can coincide and compliment each other,” said Longley. 

Also on the docket for the afternoon and worth checking out, are the beer gardens, the Mini Market in the rink, and the Southern Prairie Railway station, which will have its passenger train running all day. 

Brandon and Company, from Moose Jaw, will be playing live at the cabaret, which will follow the Ogema Agricultural Society’s supper at 5 p.m.

The Ogema Summer Fair is a one-day event, but for those looking to make a weekend trip out to the small town, the Deep South Pioneer Museum will be hosting it's annual Museum Day on July 14. 

The museum is set up like a prairie boomtown, with over 100 buildings moved in from Ogema and surrounding area.  

Museum Day showcases the heritage displays, as well as demonstrations that include threshing, blacksmithing, and flour grinding, to name a few. There is a parade of the old machinery in the afternoon and plenty of opportunity to wander the streets and check out the staged prairie town.

Longley encourages people to check out the festivities, as the whole weekend is sure to provide the feeling of the small town fairs from your childhood. 

“If you're curious about attending a good old country fair, I think this is a good one to come and attend,” said Longley. “There's nothing short of things to do around here.”

To keep tabs on the Ogema Summer Fair’s updates, check out their Facebook page.

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