Armstrong is about to pay tribute to a provincial institution Wednesday through Sunday.
The IPE board members, volunteers and staff are happy to showcase 4-H clubs locally and around the province with this year’s theme, “Celebrate 100 Years of 4-H.”
“We have been looking forward to this centennial as a theme for a couple of years because we knew it was coming up,” said Bryan Burns, IPE general manager.
“4-H covers so many things that we will have a variety of different displays and there are lots of things that can be done with this theme for the parade. It’s all going to be good.”
4-H club members will be showing in the usual beef, swine, other animal and various other categories and takes part in the displays at the 4-H Agriculture Awareness Tent, including a celebration with a birthday cake. The 4-H auction Friday evening lets participants sell the animals they have raised as projects. Each year, the IPE makes a donation to a local organization with 4-H receiving the proceeds from the Sunday night rodeo 50/50.
“Be sure to come and see the 4-H Agricultural Awareness Tent by Gate 2,” said Burns.
Look for old favourites with some new venues and events this year.
Miss Rodeo Canada, a former 4-H member, will attend many of the fair events.
Kids World has been expanded and moved with arts and crafts, a live entertainment stage, a chance to take part in small tractor weight pulls, the petting zoo, and pony rides. The Kids Club will be there to help get lost kids back to their parents. Lego Adventure has displays and an activity centre. Staff and volunteers have donated extra Lego pieces to the cause and Burns went beyond the call of duty, taking time from a quick trip to Vancouver to go and pick up a donation of Lego for the activity centre.
The Ram Truck Stage is the main music stage with more entertainment on the Community Stage. The popular Ram Truck raffle for a 2015 Ram truck with draw Sunday, Aug. 31.
The Iron Chefs are cooking again, this time in their own tent. The entries and displays usually in the Hassen Arena (Divisions 10-19) have moved to Nor-Val Arena and commercial displays will be at Hassen.
The Lumberjacks and Mini Chuck Wagons are back, as well as West Coast Amusement Midway with 30 rides for all ages and games, and there will be a variety of food vendors for that great fair food.
New this year is Rabbit Agility with the top rabbits from Vancouver and Calgary showing off what they can do. The parade, sponsored by the Armstrong Chamber of Commerce, with more than 110 entries, takes place Saturday at 10 a.m.
“The Rodeo Wrangler Tour is one of the top 10 rodeos in Canada with the Sunday Wrangler Tour Shoot Out Finals bringing the best of the best on the tour for a great show,” said Burns.
“With more than 2,000 exhibitors and 7,000 entries, and all the other things to see and do, we find more people are spending two or more days at the IPE.”
Last year, 149,782 people attended, with a record 159,000 in 2010.
With less than a month to go, everyone is busy getting ready, including polishing the trophies ready to go out to proud winners again. The oldest trophy, Poultry Show Best Exhibit, has been awarded since 1923 and Horse Jumping Challenge Cup dates back to 1939.
“The IPE is a great gathering place in our community. People see their friends and it brings back a lot of memories. Some people remember coming as children and now they’re bringing their grandchildren. We invite everyone to come out and enjoy the fair and help 4-H celebrate 100 years,” said Burns.