News Local

Tasty treats at the Ex follow tradition

By Jordan Maxwell, Portage Daily Graphic

There will be plenty of food options at the Portage EX over the weekend.

Three booths will be tasked with the responsibility of feeding hungry Portagers during the festivities.

While much of the same food and booth options will be offered this year, the Portage Minor Hockey board will step up to run Foresters Booth, which closed after nearly 50 years in operation at Manitoba's oldest festival.

The Foresters opened the booth some time in the 1960s, out of which they served food to hungry fairgoers and carnival workers. As a result of the success, the booth earned funds for the community.

The money has been used in the past to buy uniforms for baseball and ringette teams, sent cancer patients on trips, and for many years funded two high school bursaries.

Money has also gone to charities like the United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and YBC youth bowling; built the first enclosure at Republic of Manitobah Park; helped pay for dugouts for baseball; helped pay for a new sound system for the Pitbulls football club, and sponsored school meal programs and literacy programs.

The Foresters approached the Portage Terriers and the Rotary Club with no success. The Centennial Arena Group expressed an interest and had approached the Fair Board.

"They approached the fair board about guaranteeing them that they could leave that booth there for at least three years, so they could get signs made and stuff and not have that cost basically thrown out the window for next year. But the Fair Board is not willing to do that with anybody. If the Foresters don't run the booth they said they are going to want it moved and they just don't want to change their stance," said Foresters president Garnet Cairns previously.

With that, as of Dec. 31 of last year, Foresters booth was officially retired and now the Portage Minor Hockey Board will be running the booth.

Portagers can expect burgers, fries, hotdogs, cotton candy, donuts, popcorn and other random snack food at the Fair.

Prices will range anywhere from $2 to $10.

Call the Fair Board for more information regarding food options at 857-3231.

-With files from Robin Dudgeon

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