Thanks to the Rosthern Agriculture Society and Chamber of Commerce, Town of Rosthern residents were able to celebrate with a Harvest Festival once again after the COVID-19 pandemic put a hold on the community’s rodeo and country fair for the last several years.
Secretary for the AG Society and Chamber of Commerce, Guylaine Green, said that through some “good old-fashioned strategic planning,” the organizations partnered together to plan an event that would bring a sense of agriculture and community back to Rosthern.
“We took a look at what the Town and Country Fair is, all of the activities that typically happen at the same time as the rodeo weekend,” said Green. “It’s a lot of work and hundreds of volunteers to make it happen.”
According to Green, the two organizations met in September of 2021 to plan an event with similar activities that are held during the fair in July, but after kids already returned to school and summer holidays were over.
“With the moving of the rodeo grounds to the Seager Wheeler Historic Farm, and unable to do any event last year with the pandemic, we wanted to try something similar.”
The Rosthern AG Society is in the process of moving their rodeo grounds to Seager Wheeler Historical Farm, located 7 kilometers east of Rosthern, which will be the location of future rodeos and events.
While the AG Society originally created the concept of the Harvest Festival, Green said they couldn’t have done it without the Town of Rosthern’s partnership.
“Without them, we wouldn't have been able to make this happen,” Green said.
Green said the town was desperate for a celebration to bring people together following the arrest of Myles Sanderson, suspect in the James Smith Cree Nation and nearby Weldon stabbing attacks, just outside Rosthern on September 8.
“People were scared,” said Green. “Any opportunity you have to bring your family out is so crucial to the survival of your community. We need people to feel at home.”
Visitors were able to enjoy a town-wide parade, pancake breakfast, threshing demonstrations, bouncy castles, face painting, a farmer’s market, magic shows, a food truck, beer gardens, and a live music performance on Saturday, September 10.
“It was unbelievable how much people were here,” said Green. “To see the families come out and see the businesses out on the street, it was fantastic. We hope to continue it every year to make it better and better.”
Green said the success of the festival was all thanks to their sponsors, which include Affinity Credit Union, B&D Septic, Brandt, Dana Derenoski, Epp Financial, Exact Fencing Ltd., Friesen Bigway, Huntinghamm Excavating Ltd., Norsask Vet Clinic, RM of Rosthern No. 403, SAASE, SIGA, Stream Stick Farms Ltd., Viterra and the Town of Rosthern.
Bailey Sutherland, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald