It will be a weekend of excitement and fun as the Pioneer Acres celebrates its 50th anniversary.
The Museum, celebrating the farming life, has grown leaps and bounds in its 50-year history. Lyle Rowe’s father was one who helped get the attraction on its feet five decades ago.
“He was one of the original guys, they started at Langdon Corner, at Highway 9 and Highway 1, and they outgrew it. You need washrooms and infrastructure to host people, so they made a deal with Rockyview County and moved one kilometre away from the Town of Irricana,” explains Rowe. “It has been awesome for Beiseker and Irricana.”
Pioneer Acres puts on an annual show, but this will be bigger and better as they mark 50 years on August 9-11. He explains that every year they feature a type of equipment, and this year they are going right back to the original pioneers and celebrating horsedrawn machinery.
“There is going to be 70 draft horses there,” said Rowe.
These will be working in teams demonstrating equipment, with up to a full 18-horse hitch.
“It’s spectacular to watch those horses as they all work together,” said Rowe.
He explains that every year they seed the fields on the 50-acre park in the fall, and when it comes to their annual show it is ready to be harvested. This will all be done by the power of draft horses, with the exception of the threshing which will be done by steam-driven equipment.
This year will have a horsepower demonstration by Milly the Mule. Each day she will be powering an ice cream maker, mixing a fresh batch for patrons to enjoy.
The Millarville Musical Ride will be there performing two shows on Saturday and two on Sunday.
There is a parade every day over the weekend starting at noon and many dignitaries will be in attendance including MLA Nathan Cooper and MP Martin Shields. There may even be some Stampede royalty at the event.
It takes 200 volunteers to put on the annual show, and they are hoping to host 7,500 visitors this coming weekend.
Rowe says nostalgia is a part of the attraction and success of the museum.
“There is some sentimentality, learning what our great grandparents did to come to Western Canada. First, they had to survive, and then prevail and then make a living,” he said.
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