The annual Rare and Exotic Fall Sale is coming to Lloydminster once more – this time for its 31st year, and not much has changed. It’s still just as unique as it always has been.
The sale, held at the Lloydminster Exhibition Grounds in the Alberta Building, will come to town this Saturday, Sept. 27, and will feature animals from miniature mules to peacocks, rabbits and even small reptiles.
“You know, if kids want to have a rabbit in the backyard in town, that attracts the people to this sale,” said Sam Hardstaff, agricultural manager at the Lloydminster Agricultural Exhibition Association. People from hobby farms in the surrounding area to all over both Saskatchewan and Alberta, in fact.
“There’s not that many sales of this calibre for this industry around,” said Hardstaff. “We have one and Tofield has one. So we do attract people from a long ways away.”
It’s not that the demand for these kinds of events is dwindling, though, says Hardstaff. It’s just that the people who are generally interested in buying the animals are in the market for something other than your typical, run-of-the-mill variety of bird and beast.
“Rare and exotic animals, they’re not like a big cattle sale or horse sale,” said Hardstaff, but that’s what makes the sale so attractive to hobby farmers and families alike.
This weekend, all are invited to the exhibition grounds free of charge to peruse and purchase an animal or two, or at least to get up close and personal with them, with attendees able to pet many of the animals.
“The large animals are all in pens. People can come right up into the pens,” said Hardstaff.
“And all the rabbits and geese and pheasants and so and, so forth are in boxes.”
Anyone interested in selling their own animals at the sale are welcome to. The Exhibition Grounds begins taking entries at 8 a.m. on Saturday and the sale itself begins at 10:30 a.m. Large animals begin selling at 2 p.m..
“In the past, we’ve had up to 400 boxes and 150 larger animals,” said Hardstaff.
“There is no maximum capacity. We don’t turn anyone away. They just have to be here by 10 o’clock.”