Smoky River Ag Fair returns to Donnelly Fairgrounds

Hundreds of people flocked the Agricultural Fairgrounds in Donnelly, AB, Aug. 11-13 to participate in the 75th Anniversary Fair of the Smoky River Agricultural Society.

Society president Linda Marcoux says they are happy with the turnout and recognize there were some items that need to change for the next fair.

“I think it went well, although the Mud Bogs started two hours late on Saturday,” she says.

“We had lots of young families with their children, and this was great to see them out and participating in the different activities provided,” she adds.

The main features of the show were the Mud Bogs, a Show and Shine event, and various children’s games and activities.

Many individuals did comment they were disappointed there wasn’t more agricultural aspects to the fair this year but commented that it was an inexpensive event to attend and a lot for children to do.

“My kids loved the bouncy castles,” says Krystine Wawrzonek- Tracy. “The junior firefighters were a lot of fun to watch, and the climbing wall was steadily busy but without a lineup.”

Unfortunately, due to a shortage of registrations, the baseball tournament was cancelled.

This was the first fair since 2018, there was supposed to be one in 2020 but the COVID pandemic halted all plans for the event.

The Smoky River Agricultural Society was incorporated in 1931, and it has been a staple in the region since its inception. The event used to feature gymkhanas and demolition derbies, but over the years they’ve had to alter the type of events they hold.

“A lot of kids haven’t taken up the activities we used to have,” says Marcoux. “So, we opened it up to other things.”

Although the event may not have had the agricultural flair some had hoped, there were positive comments about the family-friendly items and inexpensive fee.

“It was a reasonable entry price,” says attendee Real Gauthier. “Not many places you can go and enjoy a fair for less than $20, so $10 was a bargain.

“Also, I liked that they had a family rate that was cheaper than one ticket at K-Days, it made it nice for families, too. Now if only the Mud Bogs started on time.”

All attendees spoken to said they will attend the next fair, but hope that there are some agricultural elements added next time.

Emily Plihal Local Journalism Initiative Reporter - South Peace News -

Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, South Peace News