It was a busy night at the Minnewasta Golf and Country Club in Morden, Man., Thursday night as the annual Central Manitoba Tourism awards gala was held to recognize achievements in nine categories while recipients covered a large range of activities in the region with award winners ranging in age from seven to 84.
The Carman Country Fair took home the Event of the Year – over $5,000 budget – award at the event. The fair celebrated its 139th year in 2018 and the three-day event exceeded 10,000 visitors on just Saturday alone. Recent additions to this annual celebration include the Free Fry tent and the truck-pull for mental health complimenting a strong midway and wide array of agricultural exhibits and demonstrations.
“It was a bit of a shock,” said Dale Reimer, President of the Carman Country Fair. “We were nominated last year so I knew the fair was on the organization’s radar, which is good for the fair and the Dufferin Ag Society in general because if they’re willing to nominate us a couple of years in a row we must be doing something right. We had a really impressive number last year and it isn’t even our best. That 35-degree heat kept some of the people away but we’re going to continue doing our best to try and raise it even higher than that.”
The event is always a highlight of the summer in the Town of Carman and RM of Dufferin.
“In the late 20s, 15,000 people would come out each day from Winnipeg on the train. I’m a bit of a history buff and we like to keep the history involved as much as possible,” said Reimer. “The first event that was held as a big draw for people was a baseball game and we plan to continue that. We’ve got the Carman Cardinals and the Morden Mowhawks facing off in a Friday night rivalry type game as part of their regular season this year to stick with the way fair was founded on 140 years ago.”
Reimer adds he’s got some things in the works for this year’s fair and is excited to bring them to light when everything is finalized.
The Run for the Hills Marathon in Treherne was also recognized with a Central Manitoba Tourism Award as the local event took home the Partnership Award. Incorporating the efforts of seven community organizations, and more than 140 volunteers, the Treherne Run for the Hills marathon is a qualifying event for the famed Boston marathon and welcomes participants from across Canada and the U.S.
This event is rural Manitoba’s only full 26.2-mile course, as well as shorter courses to attract runners of all ages and skill levels.
Full list of winners: Award of Distinction – Individual: Jow Wiwchar (Morden)
Award of Distinction – Business/Organization: Gallery in the Park (Altona)
Tourism Volunteer of the Year – Rick Klippenstein (Morden)
Event of the Year – Budget Under $5,000: Raptor Festival (La Riviere)
Marketing Excellence: Whoop & Hollar Folk Fest (Portage la Prairie)
Aspiring Youth Award: Oscar May (Portage la Prairie)
Innovation Award: Mound Wildlife (Pilot Mound)
A great place to start your travel plans is on the Central Manitoba Tourism website at centralmbtourism.ca or follow them on Facebook at /CentralMBTourism. Adventure awaits in Central Manitoba, be sure to pursue yours this summer.