Getting ready for our summer fair

Ruth Griffiths

What’s 140 years old and has the motto “Where Town and Country Meet”?

If you answered “Prince Albert Exhibition,” you are correct.

I recently attended a meeting of Prince Albert Horticultural Society which will again be hosting the agriculture and horticulture competitions at the local summer fair organized by Prince Albert Exhibition Association.

At one time, Prince Albert Horticultural Society held its own show a week or two after the Exhibition’s show. It was usually the same people who entered both competitions. The Horticultural Society no longer has the number of volunteers necessary to hold its own show, so they have taken over the PAEx show with the approval and consultation of the Exhibition Directors.

This year the Prince Albert Exhibition’s summer fair will be held Aug. 1-5. It is the 138th fair but the history of the organization goes back 140 years. Because of public health restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic, there were no summer fairs in Prince Albert in 2020 or 2021.

The local Agricultural Society was known as the Lorne Agricultural & Industrial Society at its inception in 1883. The Association was incorporated under the name Lorne Agricultural Society in 1887. In the beginning it acted like a local government. It later focused on educating and informing people about best farming practices and innovations in agriculture. To this end, short courses and summer camps offered training for young people. Women learned about the safe handling of milk and home preserving. And always, there were people like me who are passionate about gardening.

The Prince Albert Exhibition Association remains the oldest continuing Agricultural Society in Saskatchewan. It is one of the few summer fairs in Saskatchewan with a strong focus on agriculture at the centre of its activities.

To quote the PAEx website: The organization has always maintained an onward trend for the betterment of the citizens of the area, to ensure that its motto, Where Town and Country Meet, remains an accurate reflection of its purpose and activities. I am thankful for the generations of volunteers who have organized, directed and participated in our local summer fair. The Exhibition Ground is situated in the heart of our community. I am proud to have had even a small part to play in the ongoing success of this historic organization.