15TH Annual Torrington Jamboree


The Rangers, of Olds, played to hundreds of participants during the Torrington Jamboree

The 15th annual Torrington Music and Dance Jamboree is still packing in the dancers who come from all over Alberta and many from BC and Saskatchewan as well. Recreational Vehicles are found all over the little hamlet, with many arriving on Thursday to take advantage of a full weekend pass to the event.
There are many stand-out moments of an event this size but for many a highlight included the Crossfield band -Westlake Echos traveling throughout the campsites on the 'people-mover' playin', pickin', and singin'. "No one has thought to do that before and the spontaneity of it was well received." Another highlight was witnessing the participation of two people, both 93-year-olds who had tapped into the elixir of longevity. They did not arrive together, nor did they know of each other, but people were impressed at what a great time they had mixing it up with others and dancing all weekend.
Over 200 couples signed the guestbook alone but one of the more impressive sights had to be the arena on Saturday evening, packed with participants' chairs reaching back almost the full length of the arena. "That evening was the busiest we've ever seen it." There is a definite commitment of volunteers, participants, and bands for this event over the years but a true example of this could be found in the sound man. Doug of Sound Travels (previously known as Sky Studios) missed only one year in the entire 15 and stands as the event's official sound man. "Some of the attributes of this event are often copied by others, including the dual stage. Torrington was the first to have the dual stage set-up for bands and that has since been copied a lot and is becoming a standard.
The event utilized 18 different bands over the course of the four days, switching it up every hour. As usual some bands are yearly repeats while others are new. There were at least four brand new bands at this year's event and another new one (from St. Albert) already booked for next year. The bands are a great mix of traditional and current country as well as some fiddlers and the brass instruments of saxophone and trumpets.
Both the Friday and Saturday evening means were sold out and the Firemen's Pancake Breakfast was as usual, a major hit on Saturday morning.
Door prizes were won by guests from Medicine Hat, Okotoks, Calgary and a couple from Kelowna, BC who "had to come here to Alberta to get the smoke from BC fires". The 50-50 draws were won by guests out of Sundre, Calgary, Red Deer, and Rimbey.