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Community Tadbitz: A Whitecourt Tradition

Not sure what to expect, I went to Whitecourt’s 34th annual Trade Fair held at the Scott Safety Center & Curling Rink. The streets and surrounding parking lots were packed bumper to bumper. It was a challenge finding a parking space. As I approached the twin arena’s entrance a sense of nostalgia washed over me. The air permeated with the aroma of carnival mini doughnuts and a quagmire of other smells that my nose couldn’t differentiate. Needless to say, it was heavenly.

The arena was energetically bustling with people everywhere. There was a sense of joy that seemed to hang in the air. People were smiling and laughing. It was a welcome sight to see after a grim and disheartening past week. The Community Lunch Box Program booth was front and centre upon entering the arena. Several CLB volunteers manned the booth which was tastefully designed with bright banners and various display boards showcasing previous articles and pictures of the volunteers working at the multitude of programs offered by the Community Lunch Box Program. There were several giveaways and prizes to be won as well.

I spoke briefly with Rand Richards who is the Whitecourt Chamber Of Commerce President who said this year there were 155 display booths this year sharing their wares and offering services, spread across the two arenas and the adjoining parking lot. Despite the economic downturn we’ve been experiencing this past year, the Trade Fair has been a smashing success with all booth spots being sold out this year and the previous year.

Flying is not in my future any time soon that is in the pilot’s seat. Outside in the parking lot the air cadets had a fully immersive flight simulator. So I tried it out with disastrous results. I imagine the whole idea behind it is actually flying an airplane. Much to my bemusement the only thing I managed to accomplish and demonstrate was how to crash in a spectacular fiery fashion. Close by, The Whitecourt Fire Department was on hand impressively demonstrating proper fire extinguishing techniques in a controlled environment. Live fire and all!

Pockets bursting with free pens, fridge magnets, notepads, and information pamphlets, I wended my way through the crowds and back to our car. I’ve been attending Whitecourt’s Trade Fair for nearly three decades, though I used to be more interested in balloons and candy. This year’s was still a lot of fun.

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