Event pays tribute to farm, ranch neighbours
By Rob Vogt, Local Press Writer
It was a chance to honour the farming and ranching community that plays such a vital role in this area.
The first annual Feast of Claresholm, featuring locally-sourced food from farm to plate, took over downtown Amundsen Park on Friday, Sept. 7, attracting a sell-out crowd of 100.
“What a way to pay tribute to our farming and ranching community that contributes so much to this wonderful community we love,” said Brad Schlossberger, a town councillor and member of the event’s organizing committee to the crowd gathered in the park.
“To our rural neighbours,” he continued. “We tip our hat to you.” Schlossberger then related how the idea came about.
One night he saw a photo on social media of people sitting at a long table together. “I thought we should do that (in Claresholm),” Schlossberger said.
He sent a message out and the response was immediate. “Within minutes Lauren Billey replied,” Schlossberger said. “Let’s do it.”
The first organizational meeting was held a few days later. “I was amazed by the inspiration, creativity and enthusiasm at the table,” Schlossberger said. Everybody threw out ideas, and he realized this is how things happen, and get done.
“There was no formality, just a group of people getting together,” Schlossberger said.
The committee consisted of Lauren Billey, Kieth Carlson, Megan Copeland, Jay Penner, Brad Schlossberger, and Amanda Zimmer, as well as Barbara Bell, Todd Buhmiller, Brady Schnell and Jeanne White.
The feast consisted of a charcutrie tray, made up of various cheeses and meats; a beet and goat cheese salad; prime rib with roasted vegetables and potatoes; a spiced apple cake a la mode for dessert, using apples picked locally from peoples’ gardens.
All the food preparation was done by local chef and town councillor Kieth Carlson.
“Everything is sourced within Southern Alberta, mostly Claresholm,” said Amanda Zimmer, who also was part of the organizing committee. “We wanted to celebrate our farming community and bring the rural and urban cultures together,” she added. “(And) we wanted to really have a true farm to table experience.”
Syd Gray said grace, musical entertainment was provided by Stavely native Cody Hall, volunteers came from the Claresholm 4-H Beef Club,WCCHS Prom, Faces Students and other local youth from the community.
All of the table centrepieces were made up of locally picked flowers and plants.
Proceeds from the Feast of Claresholm, which are estimated at about $1,500, were split evenly between two groups, the new Agriplex building and the skatepark association.
Given the success of the first Feast of Claresholm, it may become a tradition. “We hope to have this as an annual event,” Zimmer said., noting it will continue to be an exclusive event with a limited number of tickets available.
“So don’t hesitate to purchase your tickets next year because these ones sold in two weeks – less than two weeks.”