Festival celebrates Alberta's agricultural history
By: Tammy Rollie
| Posted: Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 10:38 am
A society with more than a century of history in agriculture is offering a fun-filled afternoon of activities and education in Okotoks this weekend.
The Okotoks Agricultural Society’s three-year-old Winterfest will have visitors learning about everything from farm safety to where their food comes from. There will also be a variety of demonstrations including dog agility, working cowhorse exhibitions, trick riding and mounted shooting in the Agriplex. Those looking for something more hands on can enjoy pony and horse rides in the Hebson Indoor Arena, go on a wagon ride around the grounds and pet goats.
“We just wanted to do something for the community,” said ag society general manager Dawn Mitchell. “It’s just showing off our facility a little bit and entertaining them. Letting them see what things go on.”
Although the Okotoks Agricultural Society has a long history in Okotoks, Mitchell said many people still don’t know it exists. That’s where Winterfest comes in.
“We just want people to get up here and see what we have and let them know if they are driving by and there are a bunch of horse trailers they are allowed to come in and watch,” she said. “It’s not private. People can come in, have a coffee and see what’s going on.”
The Okotoks Agricultural Society hosts a variety of events throughout the year including penning competitions, cattle shows, the penning qualifiers for the Calgary Stampede, equine clinics and working cowhorse competitions. It also plays host to 4-H clubs and the Future Cowboys and Cowgirls Rodeo Society.
A big component of the society is educating the public about the importance of agriculture in Alberta, said Mitchell.
“It’s important for people to understand how much agriculture contributes to this province,” she said. “People also need to understand the connection between our farms, ranches and agricultural land and the food that sustains us.”
The event will be held on March 9 from 1 to 4 p.m. The cost to attend Winterfest is $5 per vehicle. Each child will be presented with a coupon for a free pony ride. A concession will be open during the event.