The town lit up with welcoming smiles for the Bentley Town and Country Fair on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022 as community members and local businesses greeted each other – and visitors from near and far.
It was a weekend of fun as the town celebrated 54 years of rodeo, hosted by the Bentley & District Ag Society, combined with inviting small-town charm.
Jody Lynn Dojahn, president of the society said that she was very pleased with how the weekend’s events went.
“It was just so phenomenal to see everybody out and about, happy and excited to be there,” said Dojahn.
“We are just so thankful for the people coming out and a big thank you to all our volunteers, because without them we could not do what we do.”
The day began with a pancake breakfast at the Legion Park, put on by Sunset Hills Riding club, and ended with “Dancing in the Dirt After Party” cabaret at the arena.
Once again, Kroozin’ West Show & Shine held along Railroad Avenue drew crowds of people who came out to admire rows of classics.
Darlene Metro, who is in her 70s and has lived in the Bentley area since she was 10, has been coming to the town fair and car show for as long as she can remember. She said that she has witnessed the event attracting more and people each year.
“I remember when there was only one row of cars,” said Metro.
The town offered something for each age and every interest.
Children, with painted faces, after spending time at the “fun zone” at the Blindman Valley Ag Centre, enjoyed colourful ice cream cones and mini-doughnuts from the Bentley Farmers’ Market with their families.
There was also as much to admire at the museum open house for the kids as there was for the adults.
Bart Van Herwijnen from Barts Carvings put on a show for onlookers, carving out a several sculptures throughout the day. Van Herwijnen said that wood carving came naturally for him after working with chainsaws for many years cutting trees, but recommends taking a course to “learn safely” if one wants to acquire the skill.
After grabbing a bite at the BBQ put on by the Bentley Fire Department, old friends reunited at the Bentley School Multi-Year Reunion held at the Community Church.
Two past Bentley school attendees, Dale and Norreen Mellott, who now live in Rocky Mountain House, came to say hello.
“There are people here from 1959,” said Norreen Mellott of the turnout.
According to Dojahn, the Bentley Rodeo and Town and Country Fair is gaining in popularity because it “incorporates the whole town.”
“It’s not just about the rodeo; its uptown, the Farmer’s Market and everybody loves having the movie on the side of the grainery,” she said.
“There’s a great group of people who do so much to put it all together.”
The Central Alberta Rodeo Association (CARA) finals will be held in Rimbey over September long weekend.
More photos on page A19