Bison Festival at Elk Island
Aug 31, 2016
It was the third year for the Elk Island Bison Festival, and it was certainly the best – especially the weather. The Park estimates that over 4,000 people came through the park gates the day of the Festival.
The theme was a “Celebration of Conservation, Culture, and Cuisine” – with the afternoon’s schedule highlighting each aspect. Presentations were given throughout the day in the Astotin Theatre, including updates on our bison indsutry. Terry Kremeniuk spoke on the Canadian Bison Industry with the trends in numbers and the work on-going with government agencies. Steven Lunty from Canadian Rangeland Bison outlined the background on their cow/calf operation, and their wholesale and retail meat markets.
The Cultural displays and presentations kept visitors entertained with The ‘Iron Head Dancers’ performing their native aboriginal dances on the Stage - a Bison Hide Tanning demonstration, Voyageur Canoe Rides, and Bison (air brushed) Tattoos.
The many tent areas on the grounds also exhibited aspects of the bison culture. The Canadian Bison Association was on site next to the Bison Producers of Alberta. Jakob Jud with Rangeland Meat Shop and Neil Hochstein with Alberta Bison Ranch were both on site selling Bison Jerky and frozen bison meat.
Other bison craft vendors featured jewelry (loved the creative designs by Doreen Neilley of Maple Roo Bison), leather goods, and artwork both on canvas and in metal.
Plans are already underway for the 2017 Elk Island National Park Bison Festival - be sure to join the fun next August.