Winkler gearing up for Harvest Fest 0
The Gatlin Brothers
By Steven Sukkau
It's nearly time for Winkler's annual Harvest Festival and organizers are fine-tuning plans for three days of free family activities, great food and exciting new entertainment
"Planning is going very well," city events coordinator Deb Penner said of the August 10-12 event. "At this time of year, only a month away, we start fine-tuning everything and trying to anticipate everyone's needs."
This year's festival has a few changes in store with the Manitoba high school rodeo Association taking the place of the annual Heartland Rodeo, In addition, there will be a new parade route which will no longer travel down Pembina Avenue, but instead start at the corner of 15th Street and Mountain Avenue and proceed east to Main Street and then north to Roblin.
"We've had a few people call with questions about the parade," Penner said. "But once we explain our rationale, they understand why we needed to do it."
The residents of Salem Home have also agreed to the change and have reserved their own area to view the parade, Penner said.
"Although many elements of the festival are the same each year, we do try and bring in fresh ideas in too. The parade route is changing and for the first time we're having a motorcycle stunt team, " Penner said, adding new events keep the festival fresh and exciting for people who come back year after year.
Traditional events like the free pancake breakfast, Wonder Shows midway, kids' tent and fireworks will remain a staple of the festival.
The festival begins early this year, with festival grounds opening at 3 p.m. on Friday.
Other Friday highlights include the Manitoba High School Rodeo Association from 2 to 7 p.m. on Friday, the Majake illusions and comedy show from 6 to 7 p.m. and legendary Manitoba blues performer Brent Parkin at the main stage from 8 to 8:45 p.m. He is followed by Juno award winning rock band State of Shock from 9 to 10 p.m.
Saturday begins with a free pancake breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. and the 150-entry parade which gets underway at 10 a.m.
Other Saturday high lights include the Stanley Agricultural Society Exhibition from noon to 8 p.m. along with the Manitoba High School Rodeo from 1 to 6 p.m. A doggie picnic takes place Saturday afternoon from 1 to 3 p.m. along with the popular Strong Man competition from 1:30 to 5 p.m.
A Low German comedy, also takes place Saturday from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the P.W. EnnsCentennial Concert Hall. Tickets are $20 at the door.
The evening features the high octane Brigade FMX Motorcycle Stunt Show from 6 to 6:30 p.m. and from 7 to 7:30 followed by the Cold Hard Cash Johnny Cash Tribute Show from 7 to 7:45. The evening continues with local rock/country band Bare Yogis on the main stage from 8 to 9 p.m. and multi-award winning country performers Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers from 9:15 to 10:30 p.m.
Sunday's community worship service takes place from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Food vendors and Wonder Shows Midway opens at noon followed by more Brigade FMX Motorcycle stunt shows 2 to 2:30 and 3 to 3:30. As well, festival goers can look forward to the Diamond Disc Dogs demonstration featuring highly trained border collies at 4 p.m. and again at 6 to 6:30.
Ending the festival is Christian rock band Building 429 followed by fireworks at 10 p.m.