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Meet me at the fair

MLA Warren Michelson's column for the week of June 19, 2019

The Moose Jaw Hometown Fair returns this weekend with lots to see and do. It’s a sure sign of summer, and the annual parade kicks off the festivities Thursday evening. The Hometown Fair is the first of many summer fairs, parades, and exhibitions in smaller communities across Saskatchewan, as well as major trade shows such as Canada’s Farm Progress Show in Regina June 19 and 20.

Growing up in the small community of Lipton, Saskatchewan, we rarely travelled to the city, much less to a fair. I remember going to the Regina “Buffalo Days” Exhibition for the first time. I only got to go on two rides, but I was just flabbergasted by it all. Today, fairs and exhibitions and summer events of various kinds continue to provide great family entertainment, contribute to our agricultural industry, and draw communities together.

I enjoy participating in the Hometown Fair Parade each year. Having businesses, community clubs and groups construct fashionable floats, along with marching bands, horses and colourful apparel is all part of the fair festivities which are enjoyed by hundreds of citizens who line the streets in an exciting display of community pride.

The Hometown Fair is organized because of the dedication of the board of directors, volunteers, and staff of the Moose Jaw Exhibition Company. The Moose Jaw Exhibition Company was established in 1884 as an Agricultural Society to operate the local Hometown Fair. That’s 135 years of people working together to bring our community together. For many years, people from surrounding communities would take the train to come to the fair. The Hometown Fair still provides a chance to connect with friends, family and community just as it has for 135 years.

The Moose Jaw Exhibition Company continues to be committed to the enhancement of the community by providing opportunities for quality entertainment, recreation, and education. They host about 35 horse and livestock events annually. They are a member of the Saskatchewan Association of Agricultural Societies and Exhibitions (SAASE). SAASE partners with the Government of Saskatchewan, SaskLotteries, Tourism Saskatchewan, SaskPower and SaskEnergy to encourage, contribute and communicate programs and services, which address member challenges.  

The Government of Saskatchewan is proud to work with and support agricultural associations. The Farm Progress Show, for example, promotes innovation, education, collaboration and growth in the agriculture industry. Celebrating 42 years of success in 2019, Canada’s Farm Progress Show connects producers, manufacturers and buyers from around the world with the latest innovations in dryland farming.

Forty thousand visitors from more than 50 countries will attend this year’s show. Each day, the Farm Progress Forum will bring in some of the top minds in agriculture, technology, business and operations for a keynote presentation. A daily Antique Tractor Pull is a popular attraction, and the “Empowering Women in Ag Conference” is back for the third year. Other highlights include nearly 700 exhibits, the livestock production and equipment showcase and new product launches and innovations.

The Moose Jaw Hometown Fair was one of Saskatchewan’s first exhibitions, focused on promoting agriculture and building our community. Today, we have fairs and exhibitions of all kinds and sizes. Saskatchewan hosts major agricultural exhibitions like the Farm Progress Show, Agribition, and the Crop Production Show while smaller communities across the province continue to have their own versions of Moose Jaw’s Hometown Fair.

These are part of the mosaic of Saskatchewan, and a great way to experience a historic tradition of our province.

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