Real cowboy party in Turtleford

By Geoff Lee

August 9, 2016 12:00 AM

This year's Canadian Professional Chuckwagon Association Turtleford Derby will go ahead this weekend with the Turtleford & District Co-op as the new sponsor. The Co-op has added a tradeshow to the Saturday schedule.

It will be an all hat and real cowboy party in Turtleford for the upcoming Canadian Professional Chuckwagon Association Turtleford Derby.
Three days of CPCA races will take place Aug. 12-14 at the Turtleford Agricultural Grounds’ half-mile track with the action starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights and 2 p.m. on Sunday.
This is the second last CPCA event of the season before the 20th annual Westridge GMC CPCA finals in Lloydminster Aug. 22-26.
“It looks like in the standings the points are pretty tight,” said Chris Nielson, president of Turtleford and District Recreation Association (TADRA) that organizes it.
“This is a points race so there’s a lot on the line for some of these guys.”
Points earned at Turtleford help chuck wagons gain entry to next year’s Calgary Stampede.
The wagon with the fastest total time over three days is declared the winner.
The guy to beat and watch in Turtleford is Kris Molle, the current points leader.
“He’s the one I’ll be watching,” said Nielson who is also pulling for Jamie Labourcane who is from St. Walburg but farms in the area and is the seventh in the standings.
Nielson was unsure if perennial favourite Ray Mitsuing would be running given his intention to retire after this year’s stampede, but he could be a last minute entry.
Hundreds of fans and visitors are expected to pour into Turtleford for additional events thanks to new title sponsorship by the Turtleford & District Co-op.
“They had new management and wanted to be a part of it,“said Nielson.
“Ever since they signed on they’ve been really great in backing it up.’
The Co-op is hosting a free pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to noon on a busy Saturday schedule of events with the cattle show kicking off at 2 p.m. at the ag grounds.
“It’s one of the bigger cattle shows for a small town,” said Nielson.
“We get people from all over Alberta and Saskatchewan coming to this one.”
The Co-op is also holding a new trade show Saturday and Sunday at the community centre.
The idea is to showcase products from their local businesses including a Co-op food store and bakery, a cardlock fuel outlet, a home centre and agro centre.
“I think the trade show is going to do very well,” said Nielson, who noted there will booths of interest to all comers.
“I think they are bringing a lot of their cattle products, so Saturday there’s going to be quite a bit going on all day.”
There will also be a bounce castle for kids along with cotton candy to eat and lots of entertainment during the day.
A Saturday night cabaret will feature foot stomping music by the Just the Boyz band who are back for another year by popular demand.
The beer gardens will be open Saturday from 1 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday morning.
The derby is a fundraiser of the year for TADRA with profits going to maintain the local arena.
“We’re doing a renovation on the room for the Zamboni,” said Nielson.
“This is a big deal for us because it’s the biggest income of the year for TADRA.”

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