Banquet. Spread. Luau. Fete. Fiesta. Potlatch. Repast. Dinner party.
We have many names to describe meals we share with others. Now those of us who live in Bergen are launching our own home-grown version — Feast of Bergen.
And just who — or what — is Bergen?
Bergen isn’t a town. It’s not a village. It’s not even a hamlet. Look for us on a map and we may or may not show up. If Bergen does appear, it bears the tiniest of dots.
Bergen sits at the crossroads of provincial highway 760 and Township Road 320, the Bergen Road.
The Bergen Store, the most recognizable feature of our rural community is housed in a quonset hut. You can find great beef jerky there. And on a hot day you can enjoy ice cream. If you’re a local, you can pick up your mail from the Canada Post lock boxes. There’s a pay phone there too, a rarity these days.
A couple of miles west you’ll find the only church in the area. It draws a crowd on Sundays. A little closer to hand is the Bergen Community Hall, another hub of activity. It hosts the Bergen Market every Saturday morning through the summer.
Davidson Park, a donation to the County from an earlier resident, spawns picnics and tubing on Fallen Timber Creek on warm afternoons. East of the store summer visitors enjoy their cabins and RVs among the trees of Bergen Springs Estates.
By some standards I suppose such things aren’t much. But then those of us who live here use a different measuring stick to describe our community. We measure ourselves not in city blocks but sections and acres. We have stop signs instead of traffic lights. We slow down for horseback riders and farm equipment and cowboys moving cattle down the road.
If asked to describe Bergen, many of us might say it’s more a state of mind than a mark on a map. It’s a community where people still know some of their neighbours. And help them out before being asked. It’s ranches and gardens and hayfields. It’s creeks meandering toward the Red Deer River. It’s horses and moose and grizzlies. It’s singers and songwriters. Book writers and book publishers. Guides and outfitters and 4H. It’s thunderheads and lightning. And night skies so full of stars it will take your breath away.
If you like what we are — and if you’d like to sample some of the best that our rural community has to offer in the way of food, fun, entertainment and the arts — we invite you to join us for Feast of Bergen.