CARSTAIRS - A large community effort brought thousands of people out to various venues in Carstairs for the 2023 edition of Beef & Barley Days.
The Carstairs & District Agricultural Society’s July 14-16 event kicked off on the Friday with a slo-pitch tournament, bingo and fireworks.
Saturday events included a pancake breakfast, parade, big rig show, car show, market, live music and a barbecue. A church service in the park wrapped up Sunday events.
“If the weather’s good we have thousands and thousands who come out,” said society president Charlie Van Arnam. “I think it’s because we have so much to do. There’s lots going on.”
So much so, says Van Arnam that the society works with a number of groups and organizations to pull the weekend off.
They include the local Lions Club, Carstairs Curling Club, the Carstairs Artists Guild, the Carstairs Chamber of Commerce, the Carstairs Royal Canadian Legion and many more.
“This is community coming together,” he said. “For a small town, it's just a great opportunity for the community to get together. We try to keep it as low cost or free as possible."
The streets were lined as always for the parade, with more than 40 floats winding around town for about an hour.
Entries included local businesses, politicians, clubs, local organizations, a pipe band and many of the groups partnering with the ag society to put on other aspects of the weekend.
The Rock Community Church was one of those entries, having also hosted the Kids Zone in Carstairs Memorial Park after the parade was done.
This year’s Saturday evening event was a barbecue dinner with live music provided by Machine Gun Rabbit.
"The supper was a little more expensive this year, but it's because our food costs more. It's it's not intended to be a big fundraiser or anything like that," said Van Arnam.
The Carstairs Rodeo Association did not hold a rodeo as part of festivities this year but the Crooked Horn Canadian Junior Rodeo Association did hold a rodeo event at the Carstairs Rodeo Grounds that attracted a number of young participants over the two days.
Day 1 rodeo results
Ila Bennett took first place in peewee pole bending and peewee barrel racing, while Paige Aarsby placed first in the junior category of pole bending and junior barrel racing and Aurora Matechuk first in the senior category of pole bending.
Kaelym Bissett-Luyendyk took first place in junior bull riding while Tennessee Lhirondelle took the top spot in the rookie/junior category. Clay Greenslade placed first in the senior SB category and Austin Simpson placed first in the novice SB category.
In bull riding on Day 1, Colt Kreese and, Ryles Tucker placed first in peewee, while Ryder Topolinski took top spot in rookie junior. Glen Erickson placed first in senior bull riding and Xavier Siemenuk in novice.
Sadie Miller placed first in 15 and under girls breakaway while Elias Carr took first in 12 and under boys breakaway.
Jensen Mattie placed first in senior barrel racing.
In bareback, Ryder Topolinski took first in the rookie junior category, Quinten Saunders in junior and Clay Greenslade in senior.
There were no qualifying tie down or roping runs.
Ila Bennett placed first in peewee barrel racing, Messina McConnell in junior and Sheridan Whitlow in senior.
Top prize in peewee bareback went to Ryder Topolinski and Quinten Saunders in junior.
In bull riding, Layne Speight placed first as did Kolt Rhinehart in peewee, and Emett Archer won rookie junior.
Havana Aarsby won the 15 and under category of girls breakaway as did Cole Evans in 15 and under boys breakaway.
In saddle bronc, Tatton Harms too top prize in peewee while Clay Greenslade won the senior SB category.
Sloan Walker won junior bull riding. In peewee pole bending, Ila Bennett won again. Presley Becker won the junior category and Morgan Kiemele the seniors.
Austin Simpson and Cole Evans took first in team roping. Glen Erickson won senior bull riding.