The Familiar and the New

   I hope no one will be surprised to learn that May 1 was opening day for the summer season at Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV). This happens every year on the same day. The Village is now open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.

   This year our guests can expect to experience many familiar things and also numerous new things. Certainly the Village will be familiar to our repeat visitors with its heritage buildings, monuments, open spaces, trees, flowers and water features. The barnyard, complete with a wide variety of farm animals, will also feel, sound and smell as it has in the past. Once again friendly staff and volunteers will be present to enhance the experience.

   The cuisine in the Livery Barn Restaurant, with its aroma, flavour and abundance, will not only remind guests of previous experiences in the restaurant but hopefully also of many meals they have enjoyed in their parents’ or grandparents’ homes. Along with our traditional vereniki, farmer sausage, borscht, kielkje, and plautz, we are again offering the Saturday brunch and the Sunday lunch buffets. Our bakery will again be producing much fine fare, including our famous sticky cinnamon buns.

   In addition to the ethnic food, the restaurant will be offering daily lunch specials. The Thursday special will again be homemade soup and bread - all you can eat. There are typically three types of soup and three types of bread to choose from. Friday’s special is a fish entrée, usually a pickerel fillet, with lemon pie for dessert. People who are only coming to the restaurant for lunch are not required to pay admission. Those who stay to tour all or part of the Village are expected to also pay normal admission.

    But not everything remains the same. One of the big changes is in the General Store. Roxanna and Nita have substantially reorganized the inside of the building. The artifacts on display in the store and the merchandise made and sold by local artisans have been tastefully re-arranged to give the place a new but traditional feel. Additionally, the number of artisans merchandising their products in the store has grown to 14. As a result there are a lot of newly offered items for sale. For many of our guests, a visit to our General Store is a significant part of the MHV experience.

   While a significant number of our visitors return year after year, and perhaps even more frequently, we also have the pleasure of meeting many new visitors. Just last Sunday I met a mother and her two children who had come out from Winnipeg for their first visit. The children were particularly interested in the animals. When they told me how much they had enjoyed the experience I sensed they would likely become return visitors. I also met a local family on their first visit to MHV. It’s hard to describe their astonishment at the richness of their experiences in the Village. They will definitely become return visitors because they purchased a Family Membership which includes a season pass for the year.

   We are pleased to offer the familiar and the new. And we are always pleased to host guests who appreciate either one, or both.

Calendar of Events:

May 10 – Mother’s Day Lunch Buffet in the LBR

May 18 – Spring on the Farm and Tractor Show

May 24 – MHV Faspa with The Sisters of the Holy Rock

June 7 – Lions Car Show

June 13 – MHV/Eden Tractor Trek

About the Author

Gary is responsible for the overall management of MHV. Guiding the staff, informing the board, and networking with officials, volunteers, corporate sponsors, individual donors and other guests. He has a business diploma and a MA in Global Studies from Providence Theological Seminary. With his family he did humanitarian work for 18 years in Asia, including being a CEO of a Compost Enterprise in China. He loves to discuss the Mennonite story and how it is relevant in our world. Learn more about the MHV. is Steinbach's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.