By Stuart Fullarton
Continuing a longstanding tradition, Rimbey and District Horticulture and Bench Show attracted plenty of entries in a variety of categories at the Rimbey Drop-In Centre Aug. 15 and 16.
This year’s event even featured a new category allowing children and youths to showcase their skills in different areas of horticulture, crafts and creative arts.
“The children did very well,” said Gail Hood, president of the Rimbey and District Horticultural Group. “We weren’t sure when we put it in our book this year whether we’d get anybody, but I guess mothers and grandmas that probably take part in our show encourage the little ones.”
Youths played a major role in this year’s show, with one nine-year-old girl even taking top spot in a category in the regular competition for her exemplary green pepper entry. About a dozen others were entered in youth categories, which were open to children and teenagers roughly between the ages of four and 18.
The diversity of the show — from the ages of its participants, to the wide range of categories represented — is part of what makes it appealing to such a wide audience, said Hood.
“(Some people) just assume it’s vegetables and flowers,” she said. Other categories, she added, included baking, preserves, photography, and various types of thread art, among others.
Each category is assigned a judge, who evaluates the items based on a set of criteria laid out by a provided judges manual.
Judging took place behind closed doors on Friday, Aug. 15, before items were displayed to the public the next day.
Hood said attendance grew as the afternoon progressed, with guests admiring the quality of the items on display.
“Overall, we get lots of exhibits, and lots of really good quality stuff from people,” she said. “Some of the judges are quite surprised, especially if they haven’t been there before.”
Positive feedback from judges is common, she added.
“We get some new (judges) every year that haven’t been there, and for the size of Rimbey, they feel that the show is very, very good.”
The reputation the show has built over the years has begun to attract entries from beyond Rimbey. Although the majority does come from the local area, others come from as far as Red Deer and Ponoka, according to Hood. And she attributes much of the event’s success to the team of people who work hard to make it possible.
“It’s definitely teamwork,” she said. “We have 28 members, and pretty well all of them pitch in on these jobs. Somebody has to do the job, and they did.”
Winners from the show are as follows: Best Cut Flowers – Irene Kurta-Lovell; Best Vegetables – Kathy Sarson; Best Flower Arrangement – Joy Bruca; Best Handicrafts – Robin Restall; Best Photography – Darrell Carrigan; Best Baking – Holly Scgwueger; Best Preserves – Kathy Sarson; Best Fruit – Kathy Sarson; Most Points, Adult – Joy Bruca; Most Points, Senior – Donna Wideman; Most Points, Novice – Kristine Huddelson; Most Points, Youth – Mackenzie Skeels; Most Points, Children – Garren Skeels; Vegetables Collection – Joy Bruca; Alberta Horticultural Rosette for Most Horticultural Points – Joy Bruca (231 points).