First HarvestFest marks beginning of a Thanksgiving tradition

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A local blacksmith demonstrates his talents.
Image courtesy of Curt Derbyshire


OKOTOKS, AB - Thanksgiving weekend ranks right up there with Christmas as an extended family-focused holiday, where we’re usually guilty of overindulging in food or drink - or both.

Whether the turkey’s still roasting or already feasted upon, chances are everyone’s looking for something to do for a few hours that the whole family can enjoy. Next year, plan to attend Okotoks’ HarvestFest, which held its inaugural event on the Thanksgiving long weekend. 

Despite a gloomy forecast, said Mark Doherty, community events coordinator for the Town of Okotoks, the day turned out to be perfect for the day of free festivities. 

Vendors sold their wares and the new standard of every family event, bouncy castles, were ready for little one with loads of energy.  The United Way also joined in with its fundraiser, offering games and face-painting for kids of all ages.

Local talent provided the background music while a blacksmith pounded to the beat in the lost art of bending metal, crafting decorative and unique items.

But what really put the “harvest” in HarvestFest were the antique tractors, combines and various other forms of antiquated but restored farm machinery. The owners proudly displayed their farm gear and even fired them up the while answering questions from interested passersby.

Antique tractors and other farm gear was on display.
Image courtesy of Curt Derbyshire

Later on in the afternoon there was an old-fashioned pie tasting contest. Once the official judges got their samples, attendees were given access to the goods.

Doherty recently moved to Alberta for the job, and has a wealth of experience in the field, putting on a similar and successful version of HarvestFest in Ontario.  He was pleased with the turn out and said that a lot of people approached him wondering what’s in store for next year.

Watch for next year’s lineup on the festival overview page