Ru­ral liv­ing

An­nual Cra­paud Ex­hi­bi­tion cel­e­brates life in the coun­try.

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAVE STEWART

The smell of home cook­ing and the sound of lawn mow­ers be­ing pushed to the limit will fill the air this week­end in Cra­paud.

The 62nd an­nual Cra­paud Ex­hi­bi­tion takes place Fri­day to Sun­day, shin­ing the spotlight on a va­ri­ety of as­pects of ru­ral liv­ing.

Judg­ing of the 4-H classes kicks things off dur­ing the day Fri­day but the fun con­tin­ues well into the evening with G&G Amuse­ment pro­vid­ing some rides for the kids be­gin­ning at 5 p.m.

A half hour later, there will be a free bar­be­cue and an old fash­ioned kitchen party on the ex­hi­bi­tion grounds which con­tin­ues un­til 7:30 p.m. when the of­fi­cial open­ing cer­e­monies take place, fol­lowed by the P.E.I. Has Tal­ent show, for­merly known as Ris­ing Stars.

P.E.I. Has Tal­ent is bound to fea­ture top class en­ter­tain­ment. Last year’s win­ner, Julie Dunn, shared the stage with coun­try su­per­star Keith Ur­ban at the Cavendish Beach Mu­sic Fes­ti­val last week. Another grad­u­ate of the tal­ent show, Cameron Fran­cis, is in the Anne and Gil­bert stage show this sum­mer.

Della Fer­gu­son, who’s run­ning the tal­ent show, said there are 17 en­tries this year in the 12-17 year old age group and another eight in the 6-11 year old di­vi­sion.

Satur­day’s sched­ule in­cludes sheep judg­ing, chil­dren’s ac­tiv­i­ties, horses, ponies, rab­bits, bar­rel rac­ing, pole bending, sushi demon­stra­tion, potato peel­ing con­test, a woods­man com­pe­ti­tion and blue­berry pie com­pe­ti­tion.

Bar­rel rac­ing and draft horse pulls con­tinue on Sun­day.

The P.E.I. Truck and Trac­tor Pull Cham­pi­onships take place July 31-Aug. 2.

Tom Al­brecht, di­rec­tor of the ex­hi­bi­tion’s board of di­rec­tors, said there are 19 teams reg­is­tered for the heavy horse pulls at 1 p.m. Sun­day, with in­ter­est now start­ing to come in from around the Mar­itimes.

It wasn’t long ago that this ru­ral show­case was set mostly out­doors but the grounds, and the in­fra­struc­ture, have grown over the years.

Al­brecht said the ex­hi­bi­tion’s roots are deep in the com­mu­nity.

“Peo­ple know each other, help each other out. We’ve hung on to that com­mu­nity in­volve­ment,’’ Al­brecht said.

It also helps when peo­ple who at­tended the ex­hi­bi­tion as chil­dren even­tu­ally be­come di­rec­tors. Jamie MacPhail of Ar­gyle Shore used to com­pete in the lawn trac­tor and four-wheel drive pulls. Now, he’s help­ing run the show.

“It’s a real hon­our to give back to the com­mu­nity and keep this agri­cul­tural-based ex­hi­bi­tion grow and ex­pand,’’ MacPhail said. “It’s grow­ing and that’s a true tes­ta­ment to the south shore area.’’

As Dunn and Fran­cis have proved, it’s also where tal­ent can be dis­cov­ered.

“Stick around, you might make it to the big leagues,’’ MacPhail says with a wink.

Online: www.cra­paudex­hi­bi­tion.com

DAVE STEWART/THE GUARDIAN

Tom Al­brecht, left, and Jamie MacPhail, di­rec­tors of the Cra­paud Ex­hi­bi­tion, demon­strate some of the fun that will be of­fered this week­end when the 62nd an­nual event kicks off. Giv­ing them a lit­tle push to get started are Fran Al­brecht, left, who co-or­di­nates the chil­dren’s ac­tiv­ity area, and Della Fer­gu­son, who runs the P.E.I. Has Tal­ent show.

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