Horticultural competition a blooming good time

After a two year hiatus, the Prince Albert Exhibition’s Exhibit Hall is half filled with a stage area, and the other half is filled with the horticultural competition.

The competition is divided in two basic categories, vegetables and the more decorative plants, including flowers and foliage plants.

“We’re quite pleased with the flowers,” said Barry Swanson of the Exhibition Association. “We have some exhibitors that just do a phenomenal job every year.”

In past years, the competitions on display in the hall included things like sewing and clothing design, quilting, handknit and hand crocheted garments, broomstick lace, photography, artwork, and the culinary arts.

Swanson said those competitions disappeared for various reasons, and the long absence due to COVID made it difficult to bring them back.

“It’s a bit of a lost art, some of these things,” he explained. “Even the flowers and the gardening…the gardening has taken a bit of a resurgence. We’ve had 2 years without the fair, so it’s hard to bring some of these things back.”

Swanson said they’d welcome the return of those competitions if a dedicated group of volunteers wanted to start them back up.

“We have lots of space in this building to do it in,” Swanson added. “We have over 10,000 square feet of beautiful air-conditioned comfort, so for our flowers, we could always make room for art, we could always make room for sewing.

The gardening portion rebounded nicely this year, although Swanson said they’re always looking for more competitors. He said it can be difficult to attract entrants, especially since gardening is such a solitary activity.

“It’s a very individual thing,” he explained.

“Not everybody likes to compete. There’s a lot of nice gardens, but some people are shy and just don’t want to show off, and we understand that. It happens.”

If you or someone you know wants to help either with the horticultural competition or to perhaps get the other competitions back to their former glory, contact the Prince Albert Exhibition Association either through their website at https://www.paexhibition.com/oppurtunities/volunteers/

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