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Ag society to host Midnight Days

framed painting
The framed painting ‘Big Medicine’ donated by Shannon Lawlor Gallery is one of the items in the live auction at the Rancher’s Ball.

Fort Macleod Agricultural Society wants to restore Midnight Stadium to its former glory.

The agricultural society has undertaken fund-raising to improve the outdoor stadium, beginning this weekend with a two-day event.

“When great people come together for a worthy cause they can make a difference in many lives and their communities,” agricultural society president Donna Friesen wrote in a letter to town council.

Midnight Days includes barrel racing and team roping competitions on Friday and Saturday, July 23-24.

Barrel racing starts at 7 p.m. Friday and continues at 9 a.m. Saturday.

There will be children’s activities from 5-9:30 p.m. Friday including an inflatable maze, gunny sack races and egg races.

A First Nations showcase takes place from 7-9 p.m. Friday with drummers, dancers, traditional games and story-telling.

Team roping gets under way at 1 p.m. Saturday.

A beer gardens featuring local musicians such as Keenan Pezderik, Will Big Bull, Ray Watmough, Mick and Dona Guyette, Cody Hall and Charlie Ewing will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

A western trade show of items ranging from ropes to leather gloves will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Vendors include Dana’s Mercantile, Herr Wild Rag, Wild Amigos, All Twisted Up Wire, Mac Tschetter Leather, Wild Woman Sundries, Pale Horse and Lazy Y Knots.

The weekend closes Saturday night with a Rancher’s Ball in the Midnight Stadium Agriplex.

The Rancher’s Ball gets under way with a social hour at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m., a live auction and a dance with the Allen Christie Band.

The winner of a progressive 50-50 draw will be announced at the Rancher’s Ball. Tickets are available by texting 403-308-7314 or 403-382-1514.

The Rancher’s Ball was approaching a sell-out by the end of last week.

The agricultural society plans to replace the outdoor stadium’s old wooden seats with new ones using recycled plastic.

The plastic seating is maintenance-free and are expected to last 50 years.

There are sponsorship opportunities to have an engraved plaque on each  five foot section of the benches in memory of a loved one or to celebrate a family or business.

Sponsorship is also available for the team roping and barrel racing, arena and the official truck at a cost of $2,500.

There are also three levels of sponsorship at the Rancher’s Ball priced at $1,500, $1,250 and $1,000. Sponsors get eight tickets, wine, raffle tickets, and listing in the program and on the sponsor board.

Individual tickets are $75 or $600 for a table of eight sets. Text Fern Marsden at 403-308-7314 for tickets.

“It’s a great opportunity to show your support for the agricultural culture our community was built upon,” Friesen noted.

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