We take a look at upcoming summer events being held in our local communities
After a two-year closure of fairs and summer events, there are plenty of leisure activities planned for this summer 2022 as community fairs and events unfold all around us.
For the excitement of motocross racing, head to MADESA on July 10. Mark Cosgrove has laid out a trail on the beautiful slopes of the Assiniboine Valley, northeast of Virden. There will be an open practice on July 9, the day before the Round 4 spring race.
Are you ready to throw curling rocks in the summer? Or cheer on your favorite team? The three-day Miniota Shirtsleeve Classic runs July 15-17. Friday includes the start of the unique curling event which continues for all three days. There’s a two-day car rally starting and an outdoor movie on Friday night. On Saturday, play the Golf Tournament or Slow Pitch Tournament which also continues on Sunday. A 5K color race is taking place on Saturday. A community dinner on Saturday is followed by a dance. On Sundays, tractor pulling is always popular, there’s a firefighter rodeo, and before you leave Miniota, sit down for a last community supper.
Elkhorn Fair plans for Saturday, July 16 an equestrian show, activities for children and a canteen. Other events have not yet been finalized. But on Friday evening, July 15, there will be an outdoor movie.
Reston Fair is back with a two-day format starting Friday, July 22 that includes fireworks. On Saturday, pancakes are a la plancha and a parade. Slo Pitch, gymkhana, a grand opening stage, children’s activities and live music. To top it off, Cloud 9 Wrestling.
Many small fairs already have their prize lists. On July 17 and 18, Oak River Fair kicks off the series of town fairs known as the Milk Run.
The 134th edition Strathclair Agricultural Society Show is July 19. There is a parade at 9:00 a.m., a competition of decorated bicycles, and light and heavy horses and cattle will be presented. It’s a day filled with activities, a cold supper and gymkhana in the evening.
Shoal Lake Fair is scheduled for July 20. Again, a parade, food trucks, bouncy castles, petting zoo, children’s corner, horse and cattle judging, gymkhana competition and new this year – horse jumping.
Hamiota Fair is next, July 21. You’ll have to be up early to take advantage of their free pancake breakfast with park admission, ready from 6:30 to 8:30. The annual Hamiota Fair Parade begins at 9:00 am. mood, there’s a Show ‘n Shine on July 19, the day before the fair. There is a food court on site, as well as the “Art in Agriculture” exhibit in the gallery, all on Maple Ave. (main Street).
Harding Fairknown for its heavy display of cattle and horses, takes place on July 22. “I think there will be a lot of interest in most divisions,” Secretary Bonnie Kent says, adding, “There should be a lot of craftsmanship.”
Always popular, the Oak Lake Fair returns July 23. This year will see the return of some old favorites and new ideas. Friday evening, July 23, will kick off the fair with fireworks. Saturday morning will see the streets filled with the parade. Although last year’s virtual fair was a great success, with many entries, Oak Lake Ag says it can’t wait for the curling rink to once again be filled with exhibits. Plans are underway for the slo-pitch tournament, kids’ activities, livestock shows and more.
Elkhorn Western Weekend, the two-day event to be held July 30-31 will feature Manitoba’s professional chariot and chariot racing. There’s music on both days with Lyle Baldwin, Virden’s Sweet Spot Bakery Donuts and the Elkhorn Grad Class of 2023 working in the canteen. There’s the Dash for Cash barrel race and a slo-pitch tournament. There is a pancake breakfast every morning.
Sinclair soapbox races sound like fun. The Lions Club launches a fireworks display on June 17, following the races which begin at 7 p.m. Bring your appetite, a canteen will also be at your disposal.
A centennial celebration will be held at Reston Memorial Park on July 6, with music featuring Tanya Martin. There will be a plaque dedication, activities for all ages and food – strawberry shortcake and refreshments.
Wild West rodeo and stunner
Virden Indoor Rodeo and Wild West Daze is Westman’s biggest rodeo event of the summer. It will take place on August 18, 19, 20 and 21. This four-day event is a story in itself. Watch for details in the August 12 edition of Empire-Advance.
The Oak Lake Beach Sandcastle Building competition takes place on July 30. It has become a very popular annual event and a great weekend to hit the beach. On Sunday, July 31, there is a resort-wide garage sale.
Drotar Annual Motor Show
On Sunday, August 28, the 2nd Annual Albert Drotar Auto Show will draw a crowd. There is also a pie auction that day, all in the provincial park.
Harvest parade for children
Beach activities end with the Kids’ Harvest Parade on September 4.
The Virden Draft Horse Show is taking a break this summer, but the Manitoba Welsh Pony and Cob Association will be holding their annual Welsh Show at the Virden Farmlands August 27-28.
This in no way claims to be a complete list of scheduled programs. Westman hosts golf tournaments, ball tournaments, barrel racing, drag racing and motocross events held at MADESA northeast of Virden.