Cel­e­brat­ing ru­ral life

Packed lineup part of 64th an­nual Cra­paud Ex­hi­bi­tion on week­end

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY DAVE STE­WART dave.ste­wart@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/DveSte­wart

The sight of lum­ber­jacks chop­ping, the smell of blue­berry and wal­nut pies and the sound of lawn trac­tors will fill the air at the an­nual Cra­paud Ex­hi­bi­tion, July 28-30.

The 64th event shines a light on ru­ral liv­ing, with a spe­cial em­pha­sis this year on the Mi’kmaq cul­ture, be­fore the truck and trac­tor pull com­pe­ti­tion goes on the fol­low­ing week­end.

The Guardian sat down with Tom Al­brecht, Fran Al­brecht, Heather Dixon and Hilda Colodey, all direc­tors with the Cra­paud Ex­hi­bi­tion As­so­ci­a­tion, to talk about this year’s list of ac­tiv­i­ties.

New this year is the me­chan­i­cal bull that Tom Al­brecht thinks will be a big hit.

“It’s new and it’s ex­cit­ing. Peo­ple are chal­lenged by it,’’ Al­brecht said, adding that bull rides will be open to chil­dren and adults.

Al­brecht is­sued a chal­lenge to fel­low di­rec­tor Jamie MacPhail to see how long he could stay on the bull be­fore get­ting tossed.

“I’d love to see the ex­pres­sion on his face when he reads this,’’ Al­brecht laughs.

The Char­lot­te­town Re­mote Con­trol Fly­ing Club will be on hand with a static dis­play and some fly­ing.

Dixon is look­ing af­ter the John Walker Build­ing, which will fea­ture small an­i­mals and agri­cul­tural aware­ness dis­plays. There will be goats, sheep and a jer­sey cow as well as all kinds of birds.

“We have a sign up to ed­u­cate peo­ple as to what these an­i­mals do and we also have a rab­bit show,’’ Dixon said.

Colodey added that there will also be some al­pacas and a don­key in the build­ing.

Fran Al­brecht will han­dle the chil­dren’s ac­tiv­i­ties in the green build­ing. It opens at 10 a.m. on Satur­day, fea­tur­ing a sand­box, build-a-bird­house (while sup­plies last), crafts, face-paint­ing, read­ing tent, pedal carts and G&G Amuse­ments and Rides.

Sto­ries of the Mi’kmaq takes place at 10:35 a.m., fol­lowed by Mr. Magic at noon.

The Is­land Bunny Trails Pet­ting Zoo will run 1-4 p.m., and Mr. Magic is back at 2 p.m., fol­lowed by Sto­ries of the Mi’kmaq at 3:15 p.m.

And, what would an ex­hi­bi­tion be with­out a good potatopeel­ing con­test. That goes at 4:30 p.m. on Satur­day. Is­land MLAs Peter Be­van-Baker and Brad Trivers are al­ready con­firmed to take part.

Tom Al­brecht said the board also looked at try­ing to make the ex­hi­bi­tion more af­ford­able for fam­i­lies.

Adults will pay a gate ad­mis­sion of $8, but chil­dren 11 and un­der will be ad­mit­ted free, as long as they’re ac­com­pa­nied by an adult.

“That should help out some fam­i­lies that don’t come here be­cause of bud­get con­cerns,’’ he said.


Heather Dixon, left, and Fran Al­brecht, direc­tors with the Cra­paud Ex­hi­bi­tion As­so­ci­a­tion, say live­stock ex­hibits, which fea­ture an­i­mals such as these An­gus steers, are an in­te­gral part of the an­nual Cra­paud Ex­hi­bi­tion. The 64th an­nual event is July 28-30.

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