The Portage Fair is celebrating its 145th Anniversary, July 7th, 8th & 9th, in conjunction with Canada’s 150th Celebrations.
In 1872 fair people came to town on the train, by horse and buggy or by foot. Over the years we have seen a great many changes and we continue to survive, thanks to the support of the community and surrounding area. Portage is centrally located and therefore the fair attracts people from many areas of the province. We continue to have cattle and horse shows as well as home living competitions. Entries have declined two fold due to change. Electronics has changed the way people advertise as in the old days fairs were the best way to show off their prodigies and sell their livestock. Costs have escalated making it difficult to bring in headliner entertainment. In today’s society many people purchase their food rather than growing their own produce and preserving their harvest, thus the domestic entries are decreasing.
At this year’s fair we will bring back some of its history by having vintage displays. We will have a large quilt display of old quilts plus present day ones. The heritage/rare breeds association will have a display of livestock and poultry that were raised in the past before the rise in industrial agriculture. Also in the plan is a car and equipment display from yesteryear. Our entertainment will feature tributes to the past…”Main Street Exiles” tribute to the Rolling Stones; “Whole Lotta Angus” tribute to AC/DC; “Golden Rod” tribute to Keith Urban; “The Traveling Band” tribute to CCR; as well as some local entertainment…the “Shape Family” with “Johnny Dietrich” and “Jim Unrau”, “Edgar Desjarlais”, “Kelly Langer” tribute to Elton John, “Prairie Wildfire Line Dancers”, “Waci-oyate Pow-Wow Dancers”, “Prairie Cloggers”, “Ukrainian Dancers”, “Christina the Crazy Hooper”, “Jake Chenier”, “Chris Meseyton” and “Lucien Spence”. There will also be a couple old time dances with music by the “Northern Reflections Band” and by “Gary Lepine & Company”.
There will be a pen of alpacas and the owner will show fair goers how to spin alpaca hair into wool. Just keep your distance as they like to spit when they become upset.
The Portage Fair continues to support the 4-H program with its fun activities such as the Biffy Races and Tug-A-War. The members will show their animals in the cattle competitions and their steers will be sold at the auction on Saturday. A great place to purchase a beef. The local businesses are very supportive of the 4-H program especially at the auction.
In the horse ring horse owners will compete for prize money. The gymkhana events and the hobby horse class are very popular. MBRA barrel racing draws entrants from near and far, some from out of province. The more entrants, the bigger the jackpot.