Wow what a party it was! Aug. 20 the Rabbit Lake and District Board of Trade organized the annual Rabbit Lake Day. This is always a special and fun-filled day, and this year it was even bigger. The community of Rabbit Lake is 90 years old. The CNR reached Rabbit Lake in the fall of 1926 and a thriving community grew up beside it. Actually Rabbit Lake had begun previously at a site about two miles south and a mile west of the present day location, but that store and post office moved to be closer to the train.
The day began with a pancake and sausage breakfast that was organized by the Rabbit Lake and District Museum. More than 100 people enjoyed pancakes, haskap syrup (donated by Kathy Aumack and her haskap ranch) and socializing. As people lingered over another cup of coffee others set up their sales tables at various locations. Margaret Siegel had a flea market, Laureen Becotte sold baking and garden produce, Jean Massett had handwork and assorted items, Karen Kuffert sold home preserves and vegetables, Ken’s Crafts had a selection of handcrafted wooden items and Rose Gill Lodge had a large multi-item sale as did St. Paul’s Church. Rabbit Lake Museum was open to the public and who better to be on hand to answer questions about the past then Henry and Mary Konopelski!
By mid-morning entertainment was in full swing for young and old alike. Rhonda Precesky was the engineer of the barrel train and gave rides all around town. Jessie McNabb had a team of miniature horses, Jelly Bean and JuJube, who also gave rides. Larry Goodall, The Balloon Man, made many balloon creatures for kids and adults and later in the day did a balloon school for those interested in learning his craft. John Deere of Lloydminster loaned their John Deere peddle tractor and weight sled for the children’s tractor pull.
Doug and Peggy Haryung created and painted a “Rabbit Family” mural where people could put their faces in the face holes and have their pictures taken. Medstead 4-H did face painting and sold lemonade and cookies.
Later in the day a petting zoo was set up for children to enjoy some farm animals.
As if this was not busy enough, the Rabbit Lake Arena was the location of the annual bunnock tournament. Twenty-two teams entered the tournament and four courts were in operation. Shirley McKenzie kept the event going and by 4:30 p.m. three teams had emerged as event winners. During the day people were encouraged to bid on the more than 80 silent auction prizes. The auction closed after supper.
What sort of party doesn’t have food? The Rabbit Lake Café operated the concession at the arena and JK Kitchen had a beef on a bun special at the hotel. Supper was organized by the Rose Gill Lodge and the Sunrise Circle and held at the community hall. By about supper time the night before a good-sized pig was trussed up and put on a spit. It roasted all night and all of Saturday. A big thanks to the guys who dealt with getting the pig ready, getting it on the spit and then babysitting it through the night to make sure it was ready for supper. I think everyone enjoyed the supper and the novelty of a barbecued whole pig.
At supper, Eric Kuffert, councillor for Division 4 in the RM of Round Hill and deputy reeve, brought greetings from the council and commended the volunteers for the work that had gone into the day. He then cut the birthday cakes that had been provided by the RM of Round Hill council and everyone enjoyed cake and ice cream. Administrators Cindy Miller and Chrissy Moore organized the birthday celebrations and the day came to a close with the release of 90 green, white and yellow balloons to commemorate the 90th birthday.
During the day 50-50 tickets were sold and Alan Werstroh of Glenbush became $89.50 richer.
This day involved a number of volunteers and I am not even going to attempt to name them. If you helped in anyway you know who you are and your help was much appreciated. I would, however, like to name the Board of Trade members. The president is Norma Sherman and her team consists of Doug Lamb, Joan Dzialo, Isabelle McLennan, Cyndy Spielmann, Shirley McKenzie, Brenda Aumack, Ken Rogers, Gordon Sherman, Doreen Lamb and Claus Spielmann.
Since last fall, the former Village of Rabbit Lake has become a special service area in the RM of Round Hill. At its July meeting the RM of Round Hill council met with the former mayor and councillors to recognize their efforts and contributions over the last years. Former mayor Dave Plummer and councillors Carol Ferguson and Alan Laughlin were presented with gifts by Reeve Alvin Wiebe.
The days are getting shorter and the holiday season is all but over. Marc and Karen Vallee took one more crack at fishing in Meeting Lake on Sunday. According to Karen, Marc usually out fishes her, but that day she did the honours, pulling in a 7 lbs. 11 oz. pickerel. I thought this was a fishy story but the picture proves it. Good job and congratulations, Karen.