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    A perennial community favourite

    country fair Jack Kearns

    Jack Kearns, 5, shows off his winning zucchini and the ribbon he won. The annual zucchini races during the Chestermere Country Fair was a highlight to many fair goers. A crowd of approximately 30 people were cheering during every race and all yelling “Zucchini.” Photo by Emily Rogers

    Changes to the longest running event in Chestermere proved successful after wrapping up another year of the Chestermere Country Fair.
    “We tried to focus more on the Chestermere Agricultural Society being the sponsor, so we asked people to become members before entering items,” said Coordinator of judges for the Red Ribbon Committee Jennifer Peddlesden.
    “We were successful in getting quite a few memberships, I think that would be good to help the volunteer base at the country fair and for the red ribbon,” Peddlesden added, “I think the agricultural society has done some great things to make those changes and just get more involved in having a country fair.”
    The Chestermere Country Fair brings forward Chestermere’s history of being an agriculture community since the late 1800’s which is the reason the event has been so successful in the area, Peddlesden said.
    “I think that the country fair brings that country back into the community and celebrates the roots that we have here as a farming community,” she said.
    The day’s activities included a live performance from the Chestermere Soundwaves, and indoor and outdoor market, mutton busting gymkhana, and the beloved zucchini races.
    “People come here, and they see their neighbours, they see people they haven’t seen in a whole year, and it’s just a great connection,” Peddlesden said.
    The idea behind the Chestermere Country Fair was to celebrate the agricultural nature of the area, she added.
    “The fair is bringing the community back to the farming roots,” she added, “Plenty of people enjoy that aspect of looking back at the skills people used to have, they love learning and practicing them.
    “For the kids it’s a wonderful way for learning about how to be creative, learning about competition, and working hard to do something that is rewarded.”
    A variety of ribbons and trophies were given out to participates in the country fair events.
    “One of the special things is that all the children get a prize to reward their efforts,” Peddlesden said.
    She added, this year the show of vegetables and flowers were absolutely amazing. The rows of tables were crowded, and the judges were very impressed with the quality of vegetables this year.
    “The new judges had their eyes opened about how to judge jams, pies, what’s a good carrot over a bad carrot, that’s part of the excitement,” Peddlesden added, “You get a bit involved than next year people are coming back and entering their carrots, jam, and pie.”
    Not only was Peddlesden impressed by the variety of vegetables, but she was also impressed by the interest a honey display gained throughout the day.
    “It’s good to see because the agricultural society has hives. We’re hoping that the interest in the honey will translate into a bigger and potentially a separate honey competition,” she said.
    To get involved at volunteer for the Chestermere Country Fair visit the Chestermere Agricultural Society website at www.chestermereagriculturalsociety.com.