The Murraydale Stampede and Picnic, above, turns 104 in 2012. It started as a picnic, grew into a sports day, and since 1931 has been a hallowed rodeo event.
In mid-July, my mom would pack a picnic into the station wagon and we’d head off in search of saskatoon berries. After picking berries in the hot sun, we would sit on a blanket in the shade to eat our picnic supper. I don’t remember what we ate, but I do remember that it was good.
Back in 1909, the ranchers south of Maple Creek inaugurated the Murraydale Stampede and Picnic, perhaps the longest running picnic in the nation. On the second Sunday in July, local families gather in a natural amphitheatre on the edge of the Nekaneet First Nation for an afternoon of socializing, rodeo and food.
While the Murraydale picnic is steeped in tradition, the annual GASP picnics are a tradition in the making. The Great Annual Saskatchewan Pedal is a week-long cycling tour organized by the Saskatchewan Cycling Association since 2003. Each year, the tour takes a different route so the cyclists are on constant lookout for new spots to stop for a picnic lunch.
Yet, some picnics are all about the food. Christina Shah plans her menu carefully, starting with a visit to the farmers’ market in Saskatoon for fresh seasonal ingredients that she pairs with an interesting cheese and a complementary wine.
You can read Amy Jo's full story that appeared in the Spring 2012 issue (including her recipe for Jam Jar Bumbleberry Pie) by ordering a copy now. Call 1-888-861-8311 or email us or get the digital version of this issue.
Amy Jo Ehman is author of Prairie Feast: A Writer’s Journey Home for Dinner. She lives and picnics in Saskatoon. See her blog "Home for Dinner" here.