It’s fall and that means it’s time for the Lacombe Culture and Harvest Festival.
Lacombe’s last big celebration before settling in for winter, the Culture and Harvest Festival is taking place next weekend Sept. 26-28th.
Organizer Ellen Corea said that, along with all of Lacombe’s annual celebrations, the Festival is growing. She added this has been a goal for Lacombe Tourism, saying the event brings in tourism and brings the community together.
“I think it’s a really nice grounding for the community,” said Corea. “It’s great for families in the community to be able to do these things.”
Now in its third year, the event was born out of community celebrations for Alberta Culture Days. Corea said it became a goal to grow those celebrations into a Festival that would bring tourism into the community.
She added there was also a desire in the community to have some kind of fall fair.
Through partnership with cultural groups already doing events and several agricultural groups in the area, the Festival was born. A number of government grants as well as community sponsorship support continue to fund the Festival today.
Friday’s events are mostly centered around the agricultural side. Events include a petting zoo, ‘Night of the Horse’ equestrian demonstrations and a new event, ‘So You Think You’re A Cowboy’, a kind of mock rodeo challenge where teams of up to five take part in events like stick horse barrel racing and stick-horse team penning and dummy roping.
“I think it will be a real fun night for people to come out and watch,” said Corea.
One popular event that will not be returning to the Culture and Harvest Festival this year is Lacombe’s Got Talent. Corea said the event is taking a hiatus this year and instead a Lacombe’s Got Talent Showcase will be held Friday night at the Ag Grounds featuring past winners from the talent show.
Saturday’s events include a number of workshops like cheese making and fermenting. For the kids, there will also be a cartooning workshop. Other children’s events include a county fair for younger children and a children’s concert featuring Juno nominee Mary Lambert.
Introduced at last year’s Festival, Lacombe Doors Open will be held again this year.
Doors Open features of number of local businesses that do tours of their buildings focusing on architecture.
Always a popular destination during Lacombe’s festivals, the Lacombe Blacksmith Shop Museum will be operating on Saturday. Corea said there will be quite a few volunteers working in the shop so it will be very interesting.
In the evening on Saturday, Alberta Downs will once again be hosting a classic rock concert. After the concert, Saturday’s events will wrap up with fireworks at dusk.
On Sunday morning, Lacombe will host a historic event as the City designates its first-ever Municipal Heritage Site, St. Andrew’s United Church. In the afternoon, the Rikubetsu Friendship Society of Lacombe will be hosting a Japanese tea ceremony. There are only 20 spots available so registration is necessary.
Also in the afternoon, Dancers Edge will perform ‘A Taste of Disney Showcase’ featuring showcase numbers from their Dance the Magic experience in Disneyland. In between performances there will be musical interludes compliments of local musicians.
Some events, like the cheese making fermenting workshops, have necessary pre-registration and a fee. Others require registration beforehand but are free of charge. Still, the majority of the events are free to participate in and require no registration at all.
There will also be a number of events taking place on both Saturday and Sunday, like the photography competition at the Lacombe Memorial Centre and the vintage machinery displays and demonstrations at the Agricultural Grounds.
For a full list of Lacombe’s Culture and Harvest Festival activities, including costs, times and locations, visit the Culture and Harvest Festival section of the Lacombe Tourism web site at www.lacombetourism.com.