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Ag Society News

The Johnston Trail

The History Behind the Trail

 Many residents in the area have not only heard about the “Johnston Trail” but have used it extensively as an excellent hiking trail or for other recreational activities. As the trail possesses a spectacular view of the Smoky River, It is one of the most beautiful scenic trails in the area. However, not everyone knows where the name came from and it has on occasion even been referred to incorrectly as the Johnson Trail. It was actually named after the person who had originally constructed the trail – Willis Johnston

The Johnston family has been in the Bezanson area since 1912. When Willis returned from WWII, he purchased a ½ section of land from his father. Willis and his wife, Vivian, decided to enter into a cattle ranching business and began to look for land to lease in order to have sufficient pasture on which to run their cattle during the summer months. Suitable acres were located on the east side of the Smoky River – portions of NE 18, W ½ of 19, NE 20 and W ½ of 20-72-2-W6. The lease was in place by 1959. 

 Then a road had to be built to reach the lease land. Willis purchased a John Deer 440 Caterpillar, welded a canopy on the machine and began to clear a roadway of trees and build-up a base of suitable soil for the road itself. It was quite the daunting task for such a small piece of equipment. At that time, there was a small convenience store and restaurant located on the north side of the Smoky River Bridge on the east side of the river. The “Johnston Trail” began slightly east of that point and meandered northward towards the lease land. Willis and Vivian enjoyed many years in the cattle industry before Vivian became ill and passed away in 1974. Willis subsequently sold his herd of cattle and did not renew the lease in 1977. 

Willis was very proud that the road became known as the “Johnston Trail” and his descendants are very pleased that it is still known as that yet today. 

 Written and photos by Wanda (Johnston) Zenner March 2020 

**No part of this document may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any format without written permission of the author** 

Public Notice

ALL PROGRAMS AND EVENTS taking place at the Bezanson’s Knelsen Community Centre have been suspended at this time due to the COVID-19. This includes all Drop-In Programs, the Bezanson Market, all children’s and seniors programs, our Denim & Diamond fundraiser, our fitness classes and all rentals for March & April.
We will continue to monitor the situation and will follow the direction as advised by the County of Grande Prairie.

We will still continue to operate the office however, the building is now closed to the public.

Call 780-538-3544 or email if you have further questions.

Bezanson Skating Rink A Community Venture

The idea for a skating rink began during the infancy of the Hamlet of Bezanson. The Herald-Tribune reported in February 1940, “Curling, Skating Rinks to Be Built in Bezanson District”. The article went on to say that the meeting was held at Rooney’s Store with Moose Nellis acting as chairman. A permit had been obtained and the plan was for a regulation-size hockey/skating rink. It was decided to locate the rink on what was known as the “sports grounds” across the road to the east of the store. Unfortunately, with the onset of WWII, many of the young men from the area enlisted and the project had to be put on hold.

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Seniors Walk and Talk

The Seniors Walk & Talk is going strong here at the Bezanson Community Centre with an incredible group of youthful walkers.  And it’s not too late to join in every Wednesday morning from 10 – noon!  This opportunity is an initiative of FCSS (Family & Community Support Services with the County of Grande Prairie) and the Bezanson Ag Society.  Walk, Talk & Coffee are free of charge!

Stop in and walk in the gym and then enjoy a cup of coffee while visiting and Baba to Be Catering always has a snack for sale if the walk has boosted your appetite!

Meet Baba To Be Catering!

The Bezanson Agricultural Society welcomes Baba To Be Catering to their team. Baba To Be will be catering from the Knelsen Commercial Kitchen and not only providing a great menus as the In-House Caterer, but will be rolling out a variety of pre-made meals for purchase after the Family Day Weekend! Experience a sampling of their cuisine at the Valentine’s Dance on Friday, February 14.

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Bezanson Agricultural Society is seeking expressions of Interest for a qualified and experienced Catering Operator to enter into an Agreement for the use of the commercial grade kitchen within the Knelsen Centre.  This one-year agreement will extend from February 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021 with a review and evaluation prior to December 31, 2020 and the possibility of extending the Agreement.

All information is included in the link below.

Golden Leaf Sponsor Line up 2019

Join us Saturday night for the 9th annual Golden Leaf Dine & Dance fundraiser, World of Wonder. Our event this year is a casual event hosting over $10000 in prizes plus auction items that our sponsors are excited to share with you!

Our event and World of Wonder Raffle is has been brought to you by our VIP Sponsor

Travel Adventure Packages have been brought to you by

Welcome to our First Class Sponsor

Sponsoring our Evening Fundraising Entertainment

River Monsters — Men’s Event
Passport Sponsor
Fenton Greenhouses – Let’s Go Ladies Event
Up Up & Away – Game Sponsor
Take A Chance – Game Sponsor
Where in the World – Game Sponsor

Named Sponsors of the Evening

Security Sponsor
Photobooth Sponsor
Bar Sponsor
Venue Sponsor
Band Sponsor

And last but not least, bringing us a fabulous international menu

Corinne’s Catering

Event Stowaway Sponsors

Thank you to all of our cash sponsors — we are excited to have you aboard at this years event!

Event & Raffle tickets are still available at the Bezanson General Store!