The Cochrane Fair has grown throughout the years from a simple midway to a much-anticipated annual community event.
“It's becoming a real community get-together event, which is what we wanted it to be,” said Molly Sapergia, general manager of the Cochrane & District Agricultural Society (CDAS).
“It’s steadily building and building – the amount of activities we have has been increasing, the attendance has skyrocketed, and we're just really excited. It's to the point now where people around town are looking for it and asking about it.”
Aug. 16 to 18 marks the seventh year CDAS has hosted the fair, and Sapergia said this year's event is stacking up to be a great time.
Though many of the activities at the fair – taking place at the Cochrane Ag Society Park – have a rural aspect, there's something for everyone.
The rodeo features the Aug. 17 Cochrane Bullriding Challenge – voted Top Bullriding Event in Canada for 2018, according to Sapergia – along with mutton busting, trick riders, roping and more. Family activities with an agricultural flair include cow milking, pony and wagon rides, and a farm alley full of barnyard animals.
In addition to the midway and rodeo events, there will be a motorcycle stunt show, wrestling and performances from the Superdogs. A marketplace will sell wares from various vendors, and will feature face painting, drumming and a reptile show. Also at the grounds will be a family-friendly beer garden and a petting zoo.
“We were able to bring in people with different interests,” Sapergia said of the success of the fair.
The event came about in 2012 when a midway company asked if it could set up for a weekend. After that first year, Sapergia said, CDAS decided to expand the affair.
“The board thought this is a great opportunity, because our mission is to build bridges between the urban and rural [life],” she said.
The grounds have plenty of parking, according to Sapergia, with wagons, vans and ATVs on hand to transfer attendees from the lot to the activities.
The fair starts 4 p.m. Aug. 16, and at 10 a.m. Aug. 17 and 18. Admission is $10 per person, with no entry fee for kids aged five and under. Events such as the wrestling, bull riding and midway passes are not included in the entry fee.Advance passes are available at cochranefair.com. The $40 weekend pass covers entry and a ticket to the Classic Bull Riding event Saturday evening, and the $40 one-day family pass includes entry for two adults and up to four kids.