The tiny village of Roland, Manitoba — birthplace of 4-H — is gearing up to host a big party later this spring.
Busloads of 4-H dignitaries, the premier of Manitoba and the public will descend on the community (est. pop. 400) during the evening of May 31 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Canadian youth development program.
Roland, where the Canadian 4-H program began in 1913, is also home to a unique museum dedicated to the century-old Canadian youth development program.
It’s a bit of a guessing game at this point how many may roll into Roland, say 4-H council officials.
“We’re anticipating possibly about 400 from Winnipeg will be travelling out to Roland and then on top of that there’ll be those who are just coming out for the evening there,”said Dawn Krinke, Manitoba 4-H Council’s administrator. “We’re really hoping for a good turnout.”
Visitors in Roland will see special presentations and displays at the May 31 event dubbed ‘A Night at the 4-H Museum.’ The free-of-charge evening open to all includes fireworks and a rededication of the cairn erected in 1963 for the 50th anniversary.
Member projects will be on display along with some 4-H project cattle and a local club will perform a musical ride. In honour of 4-H’s association with Food Banks Canada, a collection will be taking place for the local food banks throughout the evening.
Other highlights of the 100th anniversary weekend include Canada’s first female astronaut Roberta Bondar speaking at the banquet and gala reception May 30 plus a Manitoba-style social to kick off 4-H Canada’s annual general meeting May 29 at the Fairmont Hotel in Winnipeg.
Anniversary celebrations will continue into summer with 4-H Fun Fest held at the Carman Country Fair July 11 to 13, when 4-H members from around the province will bring their projects to compete for prizes and a chance to win a trip to the 2013 Nova Scotia 4-H Pro Show in September. That weekend will include horse, beef and dairy shows with July 11 devoted to multi-purpose members who will be bringing their projects for competition as well.
Ten 4-H club members will also travel to Japan in July, and 20 Japanese students will be hosted by 4-H families in August as part of the 26th annual Manitoba-Japan Homestay Program. In honour of the 100th anniversary, dignitaries of the Japanese York Benimaru Foundation will be joining the delegation in Manitoba to celebrate our long-standing partnership.
For more information about 4-H’s 100th anniversary celebrations log on to the Manitoba 4-H Council website at www.4h.mb.ca. For local centennial events, contact your local 4-H club or agricultural society.
Tickets for the gala will be available through the 4-H Canada website (www.4-h-canada.ca) until mid-May. All former and current members and leaders are encouraged to attend.