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Tuesday, 22 November 2016 08:00

Stampede set to host Old Tyme fair Dec. 1

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People of all ages will be able to get into the Christmas spirit at the seventh annual Enerplus Olde Tyme Christmas Fair and Market hosted by the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede. The event is set to take place Thursday, Dec. 1 from 5-8 p.m.

“For me, it’s the joy on the faces of the young children and those who are young at heart,” says Darlene Keeler, chair of the promotions committee for the Medicine Hat Stampede, about her favourite part of this annual event. “Some don’t have anybody to spend Christmas with and this is part of their Christmas (celebrations). Grandmas and grandpas bring their grandchildren and young parents bring their small children. The vibe in Pioneer Village is wonderful too.”
The activities take place in the Pioneer Village and include hay rides, hot chocolate, hot dogs, and s’more making around the fire pit.
Santa has cleared his schedule to be able to be in attendance for the evening and people of all ages are welcome to have their photos taken with the jolly man in red.
One of the best parts about the evening is that it is all free, points out Keeler. That’s because the Medicine Hat community has shown its support through sponsorships. Enerplus is the main sponsor of the evening, but also on board are Brewmaster, Canadian Tire, Van Houtte, the Stampede, and the Optimist Club. Firefighters from the Cypress County fire department help man the bonfire, ensuring it is a safe evening for participants.
A colouring contest was underway prior to the event with a deadline of Nov. 25 to enter. Four categories included pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten; grades 1-2, grades 3-4 and grades 5-6. Anyone who turns in an entry at the Stampede office, receives a coupon for a treat from McDonalds and there are some good prize packages available for the winners.
Colouring contest winners will be awarded from 6:15-6:30 p.m. Dec. 1.
The Christmas market also runs the same evening at the Cypress Centre Auditorium from 4-9 p.m. featuring many vendors who participate in the weekly farmer’s market through the summer.
The Stampede royalty will wander the grounds and be available for photos and signing autographs.
Usually anywhere from between 2,000 to 3,000 people come out for the annual Old-Tyme Christmas Fair says Keeler.
“It’s available to all the citizens of Medicine Hat and area. All the buildings are open (in Pioneer Village), including the blacksmith shop and the kids usually make a decoration they can take home,” she explains.
Keeler is thankful for the committee that helps organize the event, but as well the people who volunteer to help make it a success.
“I can’t say enough about my volunteers,” she adds. “If I didn’t have the volunteers, it wouldn’t go as smoothly as it does.”
Those volunteers include family and friends of committee members, some of the youth advisory committee for the Stampede, Enerplus employees and some random people who just enjoy helping.
“People bend over backwards to help me and I appreciate every one of them.”

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor