Raffle prize comes home to roost in Millarville
Foothills: A big white rooster fuels ticket sales
Wednesday, Jul 27, 2011 10:18 am
Where once it was an old tractor that helped resurrect the century-old tradition now it’s a giant white rooster capturing the attention of fans of the Priddis-Millarville Fair.
Last year Millie the Massey, an antique tractor, was the grand prize in the Millarville Racing and Agricultural Society’s (MRAS) draw and it generated national media attention helping save the 103-year-old fair. Again this year organizers are offering a selection of prize options but the one capturing all the attention is Reggie the Rooster.
“We have a choice of three things for the raffle this year,” said 2011 fair chairman Donna Kendall, “But Reggie is running a very first, first. He is so far ahead of the pack the others think they’re first.”
It seems everyone is enthralled with an eight-foot-tall, 400-pound white ornamental rooster. The other prizes are 1978 three-quarter ton truck or a $2,500 donation on the winner’s behalf to the Wild Pink Yonder breast cancer research campaign.
The owners of the truck, which reportedly does run, have made it clear they don’t want it back. If it’s not selected as the raffle prize Kendall admitted it could be blown to bits as the subject of Canadian Air Force target practice. It’s the same potential fate successfully avoided by Millie the tractor in the 2010 raffle.
The charitable donation option was introduced in recognition of the three-week Wild Pink Yonder trail ride, which will make an overnight stop at the Millarville Racetrack on fair day. Ride organizers could potentially pick up a $2,500 cheque from a generous raffle winner before heading out of the Foothills on their way to the trip’s final stop in Sherwood Park.
While the owner of the winning ticket won’t have to select their prize until sometime after the draw on fair day, Aug. 20, Kendall said the feedback she’s been getting from most ticket buyers is they want Reggie.
“We had this family come along the first day we issued tickets,” she said. “This woman said, ‘I have to get a ticket on that rooster. I have to win that rooster.’ Her husband looked at her and asked, ‘What are you going to do with him?’”
Kendall said when the woman replied she wanted to put Reggie in their bedroom her husband explained it wouldn’t fit through the door. This prompted the woman to explain, not seriously it is hoped, they could put a hole in their outside wall to get the bird in.
All the hysteria around the rooster, which can be seen each Saturday at the Millarville Farmers’ Market, has inspired the creation of the Reggie’s Long Journey Home contest being overseen by Foothills MD Coun. Suzanne Oel. It’s a competition for ribbons and prizes open to children of all ages with contest categories for preschoolers to adults.
Participants are to take the premise Reggie the Rooster was at the first Priddis-Millarville Fair in 1907 then creatively explain where he’s been prior to his eventual return to the event in 2011.
“We’re asking people to tell us his story through art or story form or both,” Oel said. “I have been involved in all these different areas; so I’m saying you can paint, draw, sculpt, write a story in prose, as an epic poem or write a song, do something on the computer like generate an image or make a video. Really the sky is the limit. My only qualifier is you’ve got to be able to display it somehow.”
Contest submissions can be dropped of during regular office hours Monday though Thursday at the MRAS office at the Millarville Racetrack through Aug. 18. On Aug. 19 they will be accepted at the riding arena from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Tickets for the fair raffle are available for $5 each at Millarville Market every Saturday up to and including fair day.