Fort Assiniboine buzzed with excitement this past weekend as residents and visitors flocked to the Annual Hamlet Hoe Down. The Fort Assiniboine Ag Society organizers outdid themselves with this year's lineup of events and festivities.
The weekend event was packed with thrilling activities, each offering its own unique brand of excitement. From the heart-pounding spectacle of bucking broncos and bull riding to the lightning-fast calf scramble and the skillful arts of steer wrestling and mutton busting, the rodeo arena was a masterclass of raw talent. Meanwhile, the Barrel Riding competition showcased riders' precision and finesse. One of the event's highlights was the Friday trick riding performance by the Daring Divas, where their mastery of horsemanship wowed the audience.
Outside of the arena, the Farmers Market & Bench Show beckoned with a tempting array of offerings, from farm-fresh vegetables to delectable baked goods and artisanal crafts. Saturday morning kicked off with a delightful free pancake breakfast, setting the stage for the eagerly awaited annual parade. Enthusiastic viewers lined the streets to watch the procession while children darted in delightedly to gather the candy and treats thrown from the colourful floats.
There were a wide variety of dining options for the crowd, with local restaurants, food trucks, and concessions to choose from. The Kids Korner offered bouncy houses, mini golf, balloon animals, face painting, and even axe throwing for adults. Kids could also dig through the "gold mine" on Saturday to find $250 in loonies and toonies hidden in a massive pile of sand.
The lawn mower races, a fan favourite event, drew a large crowd on Saturday, with plenty of thrills and laughs to be had. Four classes of racers took to the track; Stock, Modified Stock, Modified, and Outlaw.
While the weather was a little cooler than might be expected for mid-August, the fun and excitement throughout the weekend more than made up for it.
Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette