Traffic tie-ups may have been a bit of a frustration to the drivers of the large trucks hauling industrial and oilfield equipment while trying to negotiate through a multitude of cars, trucks and foot traffic down 47th Street in Calmar on August 18th, 2012. And no wonder. The entire street was lined with vendors, side streets were blocked off, vehicles were winding around seeking parking spots and hoards of pedestrians were moving up and down the entire street. People came from all directions to take part in the annual Calmar Mega Market and Fair Day.
On an ordinary day, Calmar, located approximately 15 minutes west of Leduc and 25 minutes SW of Edmonton is a small, rural town nestled in the heart of Alberta’s agriculture and oil field industries. The roads leading to Calmar are lined with bountiful crops of canola, wheat and barley that distinctly illustrate the agricultural prosperity of this region. Looking a little further, there is also evidence that this community is also supported by an active oil field industry.
Annual Mega Market and Fair Day
But this was no ordinary day in Calmar. It was the annual Mega Market and Fair Day. The outdoor event was blessed with perfect weather. There was something for everyone. The weekend kicked off with the all-ages family HOJA concert on Friday night followed by a pancake breakfast Saturday morning. Early Saturday morning it was evident that Calmar residents and guests didn’t sleep in. More than 100 vendors began to line both sides of Main Street for 3 blocks as early as 7:00 a.m. preparing to sell everything from jewelry, homemade perogies, fresh produce, home canned pickles, garage sale items, puppies and clothing to hardware. The massive garage sale didn’t end on Main Street as garage sale signs were advertising potential bargains throughout the entire town and spilled into the countryside.
The vendors got a break at 11:00 am. Traffic was re-routed to by-pass Main Street on Highway 39 so the entrants in the parade could ‘show-off’ in front of thousands of spectators that lined both sides of the parade route from the Calmar Secondary School, past the curling rink and all the way to 54th Avenue. Horses and carriages, County of Leduc, dance groups including Calmar’s own Zirka, Stene Bros, antique army vehicles, and even the BoneWagon Hearse Club participated along with many other parade entries. The Pipestone Flyer staff proudly added a float to this entertaining community event.
Entertainment was abundant throughout the town; a kids’ carnival, petting zoo, annual bench show competition, Mega Market, , beer gardens and a huge fireworks show on Saturday night. Then on to the sports grounds for the slow pitch ball tournament where there were some highly competitive teams while others were present for the camping and hanging out with friends.
The 5th annual Calmar Fair and Bench Show held in the curling rink offered many white, blue and red ribbons to entrants for displays of produce, food, crafts and photographs… The bench show is an effort to show people what food is about and the whole aspect about agriculture. Tables were lined up displaying locally produced items such as vegetables, fruit, quilts, artwork and handicrafts.
Live theatrical performance by the Calmar Prairie Players
A sign at the base of the stairs leading to the second floor of the curling rink advertised live theatre performances at 2:00 and 4:00 p.m.. The audience was only provided the “first act” of The Dangers of VD (Valentines Day) by the Calmar Prairie Players. As explained by the writer of the play and one of the actors, Pipestone Flyer’s very own columnist, Chris McKerracher, “ Doing the first act also gave people a sense of what they can look forward to in May when we do our big annual production.”
The play was extremely well done and many lines resembled those from Chris’s humorous weekly ‘Cupcake (lOCO)’ column in the Pipestone Flyer. The effectiveness of the lines was made possible by the excellent delivery provided by a team of actors Grant Gervan, Jacqulyn Anderson, Leah Keller, Kelly Ainsworth and Kelsey Spears. Watch further editions of the Pipestone Flyer for updates as the theatre group prepares for the May performance.
Chris comments about his group are symbolic of the efforts of the entire community of Calmar hosting Mega Market and Fair Day. "I am very proud of the and extremely appreciative that they (the actors) support my writing efforts a million percent. I, and the town they serve and get tremendous support from, are privileged to have them in our community. I'm talking about the Legion, the Curling Club, the businesses that hosted our posters, and of course, the audience members that came up to watch our teaser trailer for our spring show. The support and encouragement we receive from our fellow townsfolk is heartening."
As the hordes of temporary residents left Calmar the town can be very proud of attracting so many people and providing an event that everyone could enjoy. This town is small but with an abundance of energy and because they are so grassroots and know so much about what's happening locally they once again hosted a great community event enjoyed by all. Calmar can be congratulated for an awesome job providing so much entertainment and attracting so many to the small community.
For more information contact: Town of Calmar – firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (780) 985-3604