Monday, May 19, was the day of our first festival event of 2014, Spring on the Farm. Approximately 700 people ventured out in less-than-stellar weather conditions to enjoy the festival activities. While conditions were much less severe than they were at this event last year, the rain and cold wind did have an impact.
Along with the reduction in attendance numbers, these conditions also caused us to cancel a number of features on our program. The ponies were never saddled for rides, the shingle mill remained idle, the tractor games were cancelled, and the steamer was not fired up for action. We regret that these activities were not available to our guests.
But we’re pleased to report that the majority of our festival activities took place as planned. Guests in attendance enjoyed a vintage tractor parade, musical entertainment, various pioneer demonstrations, a petting zoo, kids’ rides, and great food. A waffle with hot vanilla sauce or a bowl of cabbage borscht with a piece of stone-ground bread can be great comfort foods in that kind of weather.
Several outdoor events were moved indoors to create a more comfortable environment. The musical concert by 3 Mol Plaut was moved into the Auditorium, and the gardening workshop delivered by the Steinbach and Area Garden Club was moved into a meeting room in the Village Centre.
The Family History Centre has become a popular feature of all our festivals. This centre offers guests access to, and assistance with, computerized genealogical records which can help them gather their own family-tree information. The “Grandma” computer program now offers over one million names of people who have connections to the Mennonite community. Many of Monday’s guests took advantage of the opportunity to search names, birth dates, birth places and other family information.
Judith Rempel Smucker offered a book reading and mixed media workshop related to her recently released book, Home. Participants not only got to hear her read from her book, they also had the opportunity to create a collage expressing their own experiences around the theme of “Home.”
We are grateful to community members who make these festival events possible. Sponsors for this occasion were AM 1250, Mix96, The Carillon, Derksen Printers, David Banman Law Offices, Keystone Agrimotive, Penner Trailers, Steinbach Credit Union, RM of Hanover, RM of Ste. Anne, RM of LaBroquerie and Southeastern Farm Equipment. A big “shout-out” to Southeastern Farm Equipment, who sponsored MHV staff uniforms, making it easier for our quests to identify staff members throughout the day’s activities.