Linden Sports Day packed with activities

LSports Baseball

Linden’s parade floats on Saturday morning (June 2) did resemble the theme ‘Wild, Wild West’ with all the planked wood jails and western accessories. The weather couldn’t have been more cooperative. Receiving a first in the Clubs and Organizations was the Linden and District Agricultural Society float, followed by the Linden 50 plus group for second, and KidsSport in third. Under the Commercial banner was Mountain View Credit Union in first, followed by Linden Agri Centre in second, and Agri Fab Home Building Centre in third. In the antique section was Bob Swanson with an Allis Chalmers Tractor for first, Keith Weigum with a Cockshutt Tractor in 2nd and third was Mitzy Frere. Of the individual riders in the equestrian section were flag bearers, Deanna Bailey first and Mike Bailey second. First In the group section were the ATB kids, second was Windy Ridge Riders and third was the Calgary Regional Appaloosa Club. Notable was the fact that Martin Shields, MP chose to walk the route handing out candy and hand shakes. A huge thank you goes out to those groups for putting the effort into such great floats and for the judges and parade announcers as well.

The free breakfast, sponsored by the Linden and District Business Association, served about 500 people. The Benz Bistro sauce was a huge hit on the pancakes. Another breakfast hit was the music of Allan (Jane) and Arnell (Lance). They were joined by Sherry Bensmiller on banjo, Jarred Albright on fiddle, and Rhonda Shippy with upright bass. They sang throughout breakfast and Linden Ag Society members received many compliments for having them perform.

Linden welcomed, for the first time, a Gymkhana event that is expected to grow bigger for future Sports Days. Organizer Jane Zenchuk included Barrels, Keyhole, Pole Bending, Thread the Needle, and Scramble. She received 23 entries in total. “This was a well supported event by the Sports Day committee. I was extremely pleased with the turnout for our first gymkhana and I have received a lot of positive feedback from participants and spectators. Spectators were thrilled at having this event to watch aside from baseball and the participants can make a day of it versus just hauling their horses in for a parade. Several people offered to help next year. Goals for next year would be to have a larger area, to accommodate a larger arena where two participants can run side by side for more excitement, challenge and a shorter wait time between runs. We are also hoping that next year the arena can be tilled for better footing of horses.

Ribbon winners in the ‘Age 5 and under Assisted’ were Korbyn Crowe in first, Chesney Hegedy in 2nd, and Kenlee Crowe in 3rd. In the 9-13 category, Hannah Anderson 1st, Kristina Hoeskstra 2nd, and Blayne Bedard 3rd. In the youth 14-17 category was Lauryn Tyrell 1st and 3rd (she entered with 3 horses and won placing on 2 of them), and Keaton Middleton 2nd. In the Adult category, Jessica Tyrell 1st, Kim Gillespie 2nd, and Allyson Jason 3rd. The entrants came from as far away as Calgary, Strathmore and Stavely.

Helicopter rides were also a wonderful addition to Sports Day and a number of people signed up for rides including a 99 year old grandmother. Flying so close to the gymkhana event was initially a concern but it was arranged to not take off or land directly over the horses. This resulted in no issues whatsoever.

Seniors Slo-Pitch had two divisions, the 60 plus group and the 65 and over group. The teams came in from Calgary, Stettler, Red Deer, Medicine Hat and Sundre. In the 60 plus group a team of pick-ups (from everywhere) won the Linden slo-pitch tournament for the first time in 13 years of participation in Linden’s event. The team’s coach was extraordinarily happy. There are no actual prizes for winning. “It’s playing for the sake of playing and having fun,” said Darwyn Moon, First Vice President of Linden Ag Society. Linden has two diamonds for this event and there are 18 games over the course of the two-day weekend.

As per usual, little children had lots of fun playing on the various blow-ups and getting wet. Fan favourites include the cars as well as riding the train carts, face painting, and pet balloons. After this eventful day, even the adults would have trouble staying awake for the fantastic fireworks display at 11:00 p.m. The fireworks were spectacular! Many thanks to the Ag Society and the great many volunteers who work tirelessly to make this day a success, including the youngsters who man the blowups and children’s games to keep the youngsters safe and happy.