It’s crocus photo contest time, but where are the crocuses?

Hobby photographers who enjoy getting early-bird photos of the Prairies’ first spring wildflower are likely to have a very narrow window to get the shot and enter this year’s crocus contest, says John Dietz, organizer of the annual Crocus Photo Contest at Arden, Man.

Entries for the annual event sponsored by the Lansdowne Heritage Resources and Tourism Committee must be in by April 26 so they can be printed, judged and put up for display a week later at Arden’s Crocus Festival. The festival is on Saturday, May 4.

The contest focus is on fresh images of Manitoba’s provincial flower. The photos must be taken during the short blooming season in April. Normal full-bloom stage is about a week on either side of April 15. Digital entries are accepted as well as prints.

The two-stage contest is open for all residents of Manitoba, except professional photographers. Separate prizes are offered for youth, under age 18, and adults.

Judging for the first stage is conducted independently, by Henry’s Photo, Winnipeg. Second-stage judging, for a People’s Choice Award from the Manitoba Co-operator, is a public event that’s part of the Arden Crocus Festival. The two People’s Choice winners are published by the farm newspaper.

Arden is located six km north of the Yellowhead Highway, on the old Fort Ellice Trail, and about 160 km west/northwest of Winnipeg.

There are no fees for entering the contest, and no admission fees at the family-oriented Crocus Festival. Visitors will be invited to vote for their favourites from among all the photo entries.

Details on the contest can be obtained from the municipal website www.ardenmb.ca, from the RM of Lansdowne office in Arden, from local sponsors and from Henry’s Photo stores in Winnipeg.

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