Celebrating tradition at the Vermilion fair

By Geoff Lee

July 20, 2017 9:43 AM

File Photo

The Vermilion Agricultural Fair, to be held July 27-29, will be as country and western as it gets including the music.
Cowboy boots and hats are recommended attire.
The 111th annual fair will feel like home on the range for up to 25,000 visitors, with the theme of 100 years of 4-H in Alberta.
“It’s one of the very last county fairs,” said Jay Sinclair, president of the Vermilion Agricultural Society, fair organizers.
“It’s a big draw from the area, we have people come from the States.”
The strong agricultural aspect is reflected in events like livestock shows, animal judging, pony chuckwagon and chariot races, and grandstand shows.
Several thousand exhibitors showcase their agricultural talents in friendly competitions, including livestock and light and heavy horses.
The three-day fair officially kicks off with a parade down Main Street at 11 a.m. on July 27.
Then it’s hang on to your cowboy hats with an exciting schedule of events like an antique tractor pull and parade, and a modified tractor pull in the grandstand.
There will also be a gunslinging dust up in front of the grandstand, when cowboy mounted shooters take to the stage on the final day.
In between, there will be everything from midway rides for kids and a trade show, to sheep and cattle events and breed demos.
Sprinkles the Clown will provide walkabout entertainment.
“It’s a really old fashioned country fair with just one paid gate to get in, and then you don’t have to pay for the chuckwagons, or to watch any of the events,” said Sinclair.
The gate price of just $10 per person or $20 for a three day pass with kids under six free, includes entry to the grandstand show.
“The gate admission is quite low to keep the attendance up,” said Sinclair.
Local country singer Danielle Marie and special guest Jordan Aaron, the son of Aaron Prichette, will provide headline entertainment in the Vermilion Arena for three nights.
Nightly country themed music will also be provided by The Hanson Jeans, the Rum Bros. and Velvet Hand in the grandstand.
There is also a daily gate draw of $500 if you are in the grandstand to claim your ticket.
The fair includes beer gardens, a bingo hall with plenty of RV parking, including a lot provided by Lakeland College directly south of the fair grounds.
“Of course, the town, is great too, and the County of Vermilion River,” said Sinclair.
“It’s all hand-in-hand with all of us.”
Sinclair estimates it takes about 30 committees of volunteers each year to pull off a successful fair.
The event will be followed by an interdenominational church service at the grandstand on July 30 at 10:30 a.m.
For more information on the Vermilion Fair, please visit www.vermilionag.ca.

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