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128th annual fair a success despite rainfall

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A little rain on Saturday did not dampen the spirit or enthusiasm of those attending the 128th annual Dauphin Agricultural Society (DAS) Fair, this past weekend.
DAS president Boris Michaleski felt organizers were fortunate in that the weather co-operated for the most part.
“We did have some rain on Saturday, but all the events went off pretty much without a hitch. Turn out was good,” he said.
“I really have to commend the members of our organization, the Dauphin Ag. Society. They’ve done a tremendous amount of work and it’s people like that that make a big job look real easy. They’re a dedicated bunch of people. They volunteered lots. And they put on a really good program.
Michaleski pointed out it is not just DAS members who make the fair a success year after year. There are many sponsors and local businesses which support DAS and its efforts to provide a safe and fun environment for everyone attending the fair.
“And also both media outlets are very supportive of us and that really makes the event a success,” Michaleski said.
There was no grandstand entertainment this year, other than the demolition derby on Sunday. The chuckwagon and chariot races were booked in another community.
“It’s something that, hopefully, next year, their schedule will be such that they will be able to attend,” Michaleski said.
This year’s entertainment included the Magic Bean Show and the Cutest Show on Earth. Both shows involved audience participation, with children taking to the stage to be part of the show.
Entertainment also included Canines in the Clouds, which featured 18 rescue dogs.
The emphasis on children’s entertainment started a few years ago. The Kids Play Zone, located in Credit Union Place, is always well attended, Michaleski said.
“It’s a whole family thing, but it’s really geared for the kids,” he said.
“The entertainment, like the Magic Bean Show and the canine show, it’s something else that we can provide for the public to come here and for them to experience.”
4-H’s involvement has lessened in the last couple of years. The beef steer and sheep classes were held, Thursday, in the Rotary Arena, as was the sale. And the showmanship classes took place on Friday, but there were no 4-H clubs in this year’s parade and no other 4-H activities during the fair.
But that has not lessened the support from DAS.
“We support the 4-H. It’s part of our community and it’s an agricultural organization and we support them,” Michaleski said.
Overall, Michaleski was pleased with the whole weekend, noting the demolition derby was well attended, as usual.
The derby pit was improved thanks to the efforts of Strilkiwski Construction Ltd., which sloped the pit to provide better drainage. It was also protected by a tarp, so the pit was not affected by Saturday’s rain.
Michaleski said more work will be done to rain-proof the track.
Events such as the stock dog trials proved to be another popular attraction.
New to this year’s fair was the Ultimate Farmer’s Challenge, where people were able to run through various stations, such as carrying a bucket of water through an obstacle course. At another station, participants had to string some barbed wire onto three posts.
The light horse shows saw an increase in attendance and had the highest number of participants ever, according to Michaleski.
“And we’ve received quite a few good compliments. And I think the light horse show will be a bigger event in years to come,” he added.
“Trent Beaulieu did a tremendous job on that. We’re getting more and more participants every year and that’s a good thing.”

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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