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Heritage Acres revives spirit of fall fair

threshing demonstration

An old-fashioned threshing demonstration will be part of the 2012 Fall Fair and Bench Show at Heritage Acres Farm Museum on Saturday, Sept. 15.

Fall fairs and bench shows were for years an annual highlight of community life in small towns.
Heritage Acres is reviving that tradition Saturday, Sept. 15 with its 2012 Fall Fair and Bench Show.
“It’s an old-fashioned fun family event that is all about going back in time a bit,” said Debbie Berg, a volunteer with Heritage Acres.
Area residents can enter their creations for judging in a variety of categories including cooking, canning, vegetables, sewing and needlework, quilting, farming, pets and poultry.
The event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., also features an old-time threshing bee and demonstrations of old-fashioned methods for making butter and ice cream.
There are children’s activities in Ashvale school, demonstrations by the Southern Alberta Working and Herding Dog Association, a turkey shoot and an old-fashioned lunch.
“What we’ve really done is gone back in time and modelled it on the fairs in Pincher Creek 100 years ago,” Berg said.
Heritage Acres is dedicated to preserving farming heritage, and its volunteers are also committed to bringing history to life for younger generations.
The fall fairs and bench shows were always popular community events that gave people a chance to exhibit their favourite creations.
The fall fairs and bench shows also brought the entire community together for fun and fellowship — something Heritage Acres also wants to recreate.
“We want people to have a sense of what it was like to go to a bench show and fair,” Berg said.
For a $5 fee anyone can enter the bench show.
Section 1 is dedicated to grains and grasses, with entries accepted in native grass hay, silage, hay and greenfeed, sheaves, and native plants and weeds.
Section 2 is dedicated to pets and poultry.
Home cooking is the focus in Section 3, with competition in bread and buns, cakes and pies.
Section 4 is focused on canning, with entries of pickles and cooked jams accepted.
Section 5 is dedicated to honey produced in 2012.
Section 6 is for vegetables, with entries accepted in potatoes, carrots, turnips, tomatoes and pumpkins.
Children under the age of 16 can also submit entries for best-dressed vegetable.
Sewing and needlework is the focus of Section 7, with categories for sewing, hand-knitting, crocheting, hand embroidery and heritage quilting.
The bench show opens at 1 p.m. Winners will be awarded ribbons.
“We want it to be just for the fun of it,” Berg said.
Threshing demonstrations are planned at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the west field.
An old-fashioned butter-making demonstration is at 11:30 a.m. on the verandah of the General Store, with the ice cream-making demonstration at 2:45 p.m. at Summerview Hall.
The air rifle turkey shoot, which is safe for people of all ages, takes place from 12 noon to 3 p.m. People will shoot at a paper target for the chance to win a turkey.
People can buy lunch from 12 noon to 2 p.m. The Summerview Ladies Club is preparing an old-fashioned lunch including ham or roast beef sandwiches, homemade cookies and an apple served in a paper bag.
The demonstration by the Southern Alberta Working and Herding Dog Association, which includes dogs barrel racing and square dancing, is at 2 p.m. on the lawn next to Ashvale school.
The display of local pioneer families remains on display at Heritage Acres.
Heritage Acres volunteers hope people will take part in what promises to be a fun, interactive event.
“I think it will be educational, and a lot of fun,” Berg said.
For further details call Debbie Berg at 403-627-5530 or Betty Heppner at 403-627-5890.

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