The Royal Manitoba Winter Fair starts Monday.
The Royal Manitoba Winter Fair is one of Western Canada’s largest indoor events of its kind, and the largest annual event in Brandon. And while it is one of only two fairs in Canada to receive Royal patronage from Queen Elizabeth II (in 1970), the Queen, nor any member of the Royal family has yet to visit this huge event in our area.
Not for a lack of trying. Dozens of letters have been sent over the years from the Provincial Exhibition to Buckingham palace, asking if the Queen or another member of the family could attend, and apparently they’ve come close to sealing a visit, but it has never materialized.
I think I may know why.
The Queen is inundated with thousands of requests to attend parties, functions, fundraisers, fairs and celebrations each year, and they all follow a boring, staunch protocol of stuffy language and political correctness bordering on nausea.
So it’s time for another letter. But this time, from me. Candid, real and heart felt. After all, what is a Royal fair if we can’t have some degree of Royalty attend?
Here’s what I’ve got so far:
I hope you’re feeling better. I hear you were out for a bit due to some bad cheese or something, and hope you’ve made your way to a full recovery.
You know what would help you feel like a million bucks?
A trip to Manitoba, Canada, that’s what.
We have a fair, a party, a royal celebration every year (indoors where it’s warm) and we would love to have you come see what all the fuss is about. It’s called the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair, and in 1970 you gave it your Royal designation but have yet to come for the mini-donuts and the pig scramble.
Remember the mid ’60s when you visited my hometown of Erickson?
You came into town and past my high school (however it was years before I was even born) and they named a street after you. We could name a street after you in Brandon too!
Did I mention we have mini-donuts?
This fair we have is more than just kids getting dirty running after piglets to tackle in an open arena — Although Prince Harry would have loved this event.
It’s more than the Royal farm yard. We can take your picture while you milk a cow. And it’s more than the horse jumping and barrel racing. I bet or you they would bring the mini donuts right to you while you watch.
It’s a chance for everyone in our area to come together and to celebrate what makes our area such a unique place to live. And it gets its roots in agriculture. But you’ll figure that out from the aroma. It’s not a smell, but aroma, and as one prominent Brandon businessman put it to me — it’s the smell of money.
Doodles the Clown makes balloon animals and he could even make you a balloon crown if you want. How cool would that picture look?
Speaking of cows, there are plenty of them to see as part of the cattle show at the fair. Do you like hamburgers Liz? A little roast beef maybe?
Tell me on a hot summer day in the palace, you and Phil don’t like to fire up the Royal grill for some good old Canadian beef to have with a cold Foster’s Lager. Foster’s is Australian I know, but the UK isn’t exactly famous for great beer and it is a Commonwealth country.
Anyways, wouldn’t you like to know how that awesome prime rib was raised, how it was fed, loved and looked after?
We can show you everything about cattle, and even let you lead one around. We’ll even put a crown on its head while you lead it around. In fact, we will give everyone in the arena little tiaras in honour of your visit. You will put the Royal back into the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair. And if you think next year might be a better time to visit, and you want to bring Will and Kate’s new baby, she can come for free.
If you go to brandonfairs.com and fill out a little survey, they will show you a web page where you can download a free ticket. I know you likely have more than enough money to not worry about such things, but you can take the money you saved to buy — you guessed it — mini donuts.
So as you can see, it’s great fun, even for a royal. Take us up on the offer and you’ll be screaming UN-BEE-LEE-VUH-BULL like Doodles the clown in no time!
All the best to you and the kin and we look forward to seeing you soon.
PS: When you come, can I get a title for taking the initiative to write you? I love bacon, so I could be "Lord of Lard." Just a thought.
JOKE THIS WEEK
Queen Elizabeth and Dolly Parton die on the same day, and they both go before St. Peter to find out if they'll be admitted to heaven.
Unfortunately, there's only one space left that day, so St. Peter must decide which of them gets in. St. Peter asks Dolly if there's some particular reason why she should go to heaven.
So she pushed her chest out to make sure he notices and says, "Look at these. They're the most perfect ones God ever created, and I'm sure it will please him to be able to see them every day for eternity."
St. Peter thanks Dolly, and asks Queen Liz the same question. She then runs off to the heavenly washroom, where she not only does "her business" but farts "When the Saints go Marching In".
St. Peter says, "OK, Your Majesty, you may go in".
Dolly is outraged, she screams, "What was that all about? I show you two of God's most perfect creations and I am denied admission to Heaven, she performs a disgusting musical gas act, and gets in! I don't get it!"
"Sorry, Dolly," says St. Peter, "but a royal flush beats a pair any day."
Ashley Dawn Jeandel
Tricia Martel Pickard
Jodi Holmes Ginter
Taylor Kendall Price
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 23, 2013