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Heritage Acres weathers storm for annual show

horse-drawn raking

Heritage Acres Farm Museum will demonstrate old-time farming methods such as horse-drawn raking during its annual show.

threshing demonstration

Heritage Acres Farm Museum will have an old-fashioned threshing demonstration Saturday and Sunday.

People who make their living in agriculture are used to dealing with whatever Mother Nature sends their way.
So when heavy rain on the August long weekend forced Heritage Acres Farm Museum to call off its annual show, board members went with Plan B.
Rather than cancelling the museum’s major event entirely, it was moved to Sept. 13-15 to coincide with the annual Fall Fair.
Museum general manager Bill Kells is pleased to see the annual show taking place.
“I see the guys out there,” Kells said of the volunteers at Heritage Acres. “They take so much pride in the site and they work so hard to get the equipment restored and ready for demonstration.”
“It’s so nice for them to be able to do that,” Kells added. “It’s one thing to have the equipment here static year-round but it’s another thing to see it operate. It really tells the story.”
Heritage Acres traditionally holds its annual show, which includes demonstrations of antique farm equipment, on the Heritage Day weekend in August.
When the skies opened and rain hammered down the Friday of the August long weekend, museum board members faced a tough decision.
“It was more rain than we’ve ever got before, in such a short period of time,” Kells said. “It wasn’t our first option to cancel. Our first option was to try to find alternatives.”
There was nowhere to stage the demonstrations, and when people arrived for the weekend they had difficulty getting onto the grounds due to the rain.
“It was just a mess so we decided to cancel,” Kells said. “When we did cancel it we also made the decision at that time to add to the fall fair.”
The second annual Fall Fair is Saturday, Sept. 14, with bench shows and other activities.
The museum board decided in August to hold its annual show in conjunction with the Fall Fair.
“Pretty much all of the things we had scheduled for the annual show are still a go,” Kells said.
The Heritage Acres show kicks off Friday, Sept. 13 with exhibitors and artisans arriving at 12 noon to set up displays.
The tractor pull weigh-in starts at 2 p.m. and then at 3 p.m. there is a slow race with tractors.
“That’s going to be a lot of fun,” Kells said. “We had it with the Model Ts and it was actually a lot of fun, and with tractors it’s also going to be fun.”
The slow race requires drivers to travel from the start to the finish line, going as slow as possible without stalling the machine.
The tractor pull gets under way at 6 p.m. There are different weight classes for the machines, which pull sleds loaded with weight.
The weight gets progressively heavier as a tractor moves forward.
“They try to pull it the longest distance they can,” Kells said.
The tractor pull takes place over three days.
The Silver Saddles band performs in concert at 7 p.m. to close out the first day of the annual show.
Saturday kicks off with a Toonie pancake breakfast from 7-10 a.m.
Field demonstrations of old-fashioned mowing, binding, steam plowing, horse-powered baling and vintage threshing start at 9:30 a.m. There will also be a demonstration in the restored United Grain Growers elevator.
The Heritage Mall opens at 9:30 a.m. with a craft sale and exhibits, and children’s games get under way in Crystal Village.
Lunch is available at four different concessions, and a family history display is open all weekend in the Doukhobor barn loft.
At 1 p.m. the steam-powered saw mill will be fired up for a demonstration.
The Parade of Power featuring horse-drawn and other vintage equipment as well as old cars takes place at 1:30 p.m.
There is another slow race at 3 p.m., followed by another tractor pull at 3:30 p.m.
A barbecue prime rib dinner will be served at 6 p.m., followed by an old-fashioned dance at 7:30 p.m. in the Summerview Hall with music by the Alvin Berger Band.
“It’s still pretty much going to be all the events we normally have,” Kells said.
Sunday, Sept. 15 follows the same schedule as Saturday, with the addition of an interdenominational church service at 9:30 a.m. in the Jumbo Valley prairie church.
The show closes at 6 p.m. Sunday with an address by Heritage Acres president Bill Robinson and presentation of prizes.
The Road Builders and Heavy Construction Heritage Society of Canada had planned to attend the show in August, but aren’t able to attend this weekend.

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