Spring at the Museum

   For the last three years, our Spring on the Farm festival on Victoria Day has suffered severely due to inclement weather. Last year the weather was so bad we actually cancelled the event. It had snowed overnight, and there was ice on the walk to the front entrance of the Village Centre.

   Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) and the Southeast Implement Collectors (SIC) club have worked together for years to combine MHV’s Spring on the Farm with the SIC’s annual Tractor Show. Since both groups seemed to be experiencing similar frustrations with long-weekend weather trends, we both began assessing future options immediately after last spring’s event cancellation.

    Obviously, one can’t predict and dodge inclement weather as far in advance as event planning requires. However, the frustration resulting from the weather disruptions to this particular event have created conversation around new opportunities to celebrate spring in a farm environment. As a result, this year’s spring celebrations at MHV will have a different configuration.

   Thursday, May 12, is provincially designated as Manitoba Day. As in the past, MHV will again offer a reduced admission rate of $2.00 per person that day. We will also conduct a formal flag-raising ceremony with greetings from various dignitaries. Many of our heritage buildings will have interpreters present for part of the day. Horse-drawn wagon rides will also be available to our guests.

   New to our Manitoba Day event this year will be the Craft Sale which will take place in the Auditorium. Local artisans have been invited to promote their made-in-Manitoba crafts to our visitors. We are expecting approximately 20 craft tables and there are still some spots available. The MHV Auxiliary will support this event by serving “Beaver Tails”, a deep-fried pastry treat.

   On May 23, Victoria Day, the museum will be open from 10:00 to 5:00 as usual, although our planned activities will be scaled down considerably. The village buildings will be open, guided tours of the village will be available, and the Livery Barn Restaurant will be open. Weather permitting, we will also offer horse-drawn wagon rides.

   On Saturday, June 11, we will conduct our annual Tractor Trek fundraiser. This joint venture with Eden Foundation invites vintage-tractor owners to raise support for a 50-kilometre tractor ride in the country. This year we hope to have 50 tractors, each 50 years old or older, traveling a route through the RM of Ste. Anne and the Giroux and Richer areas.

   The Southeast Implement Collectors’ Tractor Show will take place at MHV the following day, Sunday, June 12, from 12:00 noon to 5:00 PM. The club will be inviting all vintage-tractor owners in the Southeast to exhibit their machines on our village’s Main Street. They will conduct a parade of these vintage machines, which will provide observers with information about each tractor. There will also be “tractor games,” which are primarily intended to demonstrate the driving skills of their operators.

   As an added feature that day, if the weather and field conditions are suitable, the Southeast Draft Horse Association will do some fieldwork demonstrations with their heavy-horse teams. This will be a great opportunity to appreciate the progress that has been made in modern agriculture.

   Plan to celebrate spring at MHV at these featured events!

Calendar of Events

- Apr. 21 – Volunteer Orientation – 7:00 PM

- May 1 – Outdoor Village and Livery Barn Restaurant will open for the season.

- May 12 – Manitoba Day – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

- May 23 – Victoria Day – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

- June 11 – Tractor Trek fundraising event

- June 12 – Tractor Show – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

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About the Author

Barry is the Executive Director of the Mennonite Heritage Village. While he does not consider himself to be a historian, he places a high value on the preservation and interpretation of the Mennonite and pioneer stories that help people of all ages understand and appreciate their heritage. Learn more about the MHV.

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