Ready to time travel? The Pioneer Acres of Alberta museum is sending guests back 100 years during its annual show from Aug. 5 to 7.
According to Shelly McElroy, curator and general manager for Pioneer Acres, the impetus for the show is to give guests a taste of what the early settlers experienced homesteading in the area.
“The point of the show is for you to be able to experience what your life would have been like in a small rural community in southern Alberta if you lived 75 years ago,” McElroy said in an interview.
Although the show will be entertaining guests with old-time farming traditions throughout the weekend, all days will feature most of the same events. The only difference is the steak dinner available for purchase on Friday and Saturday, starting at 5:30 p.m.
To kick off the events, museum employees will be flipping up flapjacks on Friday from 8 to 10 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7 to 10 a.m.
For the guest in need of some quick sustenance, a concession stand will be available throughout the weekend, serving up burgers, cold drinks, and other snacks to nourish them alongside antique farming fun.
Four different parades will be running throughout the day. Guests can watch horses trot around Pioneer Acres’ circular track, which will have stands so visitors can sit and watch. Antique vehicles and tractors will also be making a loop around the track.
International Harvesters - an American manufacturer of agricultural and construction equipment - will also be making a guest appearance at the show.
Visitors to the museum can explore the 50-acres of land, which will host antique farm equipment, blacksmith and millwright demonstrations, antique tractor pulls, and steam-powered plowing, which McElroy said was her personal favourite event to watch in previous years.
“[The event is] just a thoroughly good time with lots and lots and lots to see,” she added.
To guide guests and inform them of all the activities happening throughout the weekend, maps will be available to ensure they will not miss out on any of the fun.
For instance, the museum's cook car will be demonstrating its usefulness during the time of travelling farmers.
According to McElroy, back in the day, the cook car would trail behind the farmers and cook them up fresh meals while they harvested the crops. She said the farmers would travel from field to field, with the car following behind them to keep them full and energized, 75 to 100 years ago.
“They were totally essential, travelling around with the people bringing in the harvest,” McElroy said.
Pioneer Acres will also host live music throughout the weekend but McElroy said the lineup is not yet confirmed. She added the interior of the museum will remain open and will have additional activities and demonstrations for visitors.
“There’s going to be events spread out all over the palace, which is really great because there’s things to do inside if it gets too hot or if it’s raining,” she said. “There’s just a huge variety of things you can do.”
Although children tend to enjoy the tractor pulls, there will also be arts, crafts, and other events curated specifically for children, McElroy said.
While children craft, adults can stroll through the local market that will be set up all weekend from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., including handmade goodies, such as soap and food products.
“[There will be] good things to eat, beautiful things to buy,” McElroy said.
Brand-new tractor display
In addition to the cook car, there will also be a Case 930 Diesel tractor on display that was purchased by Rocky View County resident, John J. Crawford, in 1963, from a local equipment dealer in Irricana.
The tractor has since been traded between Crawford and local farmer Murray Wise. Thereafter, the Case 930 was used on the Wise family farm for many years, according to Crawford's grandson, Ross Wade.
The Wise family has since agreed to sell the tractor back to the Crawfords, enabling Crawford's great-grandson, Joshua Wade, to purchase the old relic.
Joshua, who is working with Pioneer Acres for his third summer, will be parking the tractor on Pioneer Acres property so museum-goers will be able to enjoy the well-maintained vehicle, said Wade.
For those wishing to attend all three days of the family fun, camping is available for those with tents or campers. The spots are located across from the museum and are $20 for the whole weekend – from Thursday afternoon until Monday morning. McElroy recommended interested campers call the museum to reserve a spot.
To visit the drop-in style annual show, tickets can be purchased at the museum. For families with two adults and two children, admission is $30, while a single adult ticket is $15. Tickets for youth under 16 are $9 each, while those under 6 attend for free. Seniors can snag a ticket for $12 each.
For more information, visit bit.ly/3PDJbIT or visit Pioneer Acres Museum's Facebook page.