One of the country’s top harvest season festivals and the city’s most anticipated celebration of culture is back for an eighth year.
The annual Lacombe Culture and Harvest Festival takes place Sept. 27-29 and will feature more than 50 events, all of which organizer Angelique Hand says encompass the various aspects which make up the fabric of the community.
“This festival allows our community spirit to shine,” she said. “We’re fortunate the Culture and Harvest Festival really opens the door to what can be a part of it – it’s very inclusive. Sometimes an event or organization wouldn’t know where they fit in some of the festivals, and this one is a really neat, broad-based opportunity.”
Festivities kick off on Friday, with the start of the annual scarecrow competition and scavenger hunt, the Lacombe Farmer’s Market, tours of Blindman Brewing, donut dipping demonstrations and an outdoor movie night at Kraay Family Farm starting at 8 p.m.
Saturday will be the busiest day of the festival, however, with the Country Harvest Breakfast at the Lacombe Vintage Machinery Club from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m., and two marquee events.
The Lacombe Performing Arts Centre on C&E Trail will have it’s grand opening, starting with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. and a number of drop-in arts events and performances throughout the day, followed by a free Jamie Woodfin concert at 7 p.m.
At 1 p.m., Lacombe will place and emphasis on First Nations through the opening of the Forgotten Moccasins Photo Project with artist Tim Baril at the Lacombe Memorial Centre. The event will begin with Indigenous dancers from Maskwacis performing in Lest We Forget Park, followed by a 2 p.m. talk by Baril, and an education session with elders at 2:30 p.m.
A variety of arts demonstrations, from pottery at the new Heart Works Studio, to bone broth making at Healthfitters, as well as a plethora of handicrafts at the Ag Pavilion at the Lacombe Ag grounds will also be held throughout the day, alongside a visit from “fancy” Canadian Heritage Breed chickens, and many of the demonstrations will carry into Sunday.
As always, there will be a number of events at Lacombe’s museums, including demonstrations and tours at the Michener House Museum and the Blacksmith Shop Museum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
The final day of the festival, meanwhile, will be highlighted by a brief visit from Alberta Culture and Tourism Minister Leela Aheer who will bring greetings from the province as the festival coincides with Alberta Culture Days.
Across the province, 87 communities and cultural groups will host arts and cultural events, and 23 Indigenous and cultural organizations will host events showcasing the province’s diversity.
“Our government is pleased to support Alberta Culture Days 2019. Community organizations have amazing events planned, from art walks and opera performances to dance lessons and film festivals. I encourage everyone to get out this weekend to explore their community and celebrate our province,” Aheer said in a release issued last Monday.
“It’s a neat way to inspire people, as well, to get out and learn about different cultural things, whether that’s enjoying music or taking in exhibits,” she said.