Open for Business

   Opening day for our outdoor village and the Livery Barn Restaurant (LBR) seemed to come upon us rather quickly this spring. Similarly, Week One of the new season has quickly and not-so-quietly made its way into our “history books,” likely due to the high level of activity we experienced. Our receptionists welcomed many guests and have already received many accolades on behalf of the museum. We sensed that people had been waiting with anticipation to visit the village or restaurant once again.

   It was good to feel the hum of our school program starting up when the first group of students arrived. Our summer staff and our regular crew of volunteers quickly stepped up to the plate and hosted these children with poise and professionalism.

   The last of our barnyard animals arrived, including day-old chicks which are still under a heat lamp in the barn.

   We had an adult tour group from the Interlake area visiting us later in the week. Our volunteer tour guides ably hosted them, and the Livery Barn Restaurant provided their meal.

   While our Village Books and Gifts store is open year-round in the Village Centre, our General Store in the outdoor village just re-opened for business last week. A group of local artisans have moved their crafts into the store, displayed them tastefully, and impressed many of our guests with their products and service.

   Our Facility Rentals Department was also very busy that first week with three weddings, four days of workshops, and a concert. These activities also created traffic in our Village Books and Gifts store, as well as the LBR, which also catered several of these events.

   Assisted by our custodial staff, our curators finished cleaning and setting up all the heritage buildings. Floors were swept, windows washed, linens and other props installed, and geraniums placed on the window sills of the houses. It feels good to open up the buildings and again have them serve their intended purposes. Staff who have spent the winter at their desks are enjoying time outside and in the various heritage buildings.

   With catering, regular museum guests, meeting participants and Mother’s Day, the Livery Barn Restaurant had a very busy first week. We were thankful for the good weather on Mother’s Day, which made waiting in line much more enjoyable and made our picnic tables quite appealing. Approximately 400 guests enjoyed our Sunday Buffet on that day.

   The Steinbach and Area Garden Club has been hard at work clearing flower beds, spreading compost, tilling the garden and the orchard, and planning the layouts of the annual flower beds. The tulips are already contributing a lot of colour to the beds.

   We have a number of new staff members this year. This is a very exciting time for them as they get to see the inside of the heritage buildings, smell the fragrance of plum blossoms in the orchard, participate in the various school and tour programs, and enjoy the great lunches in the LBR. It seems we are off to a busy and healthy start for the 2016 season.

Calendar of Events

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

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

- May 29 – Auxiliary Faspa – 2:30 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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