Sunnybrook Farm Museum hosting 22nd annual Pioneer Days festival

By Kirsten Dennis
August 10, 2017 - 11:09pm Updated: August 11, 2017 - 6:31am

From antique tractors to farm animals and exhibitions, the 22nd annual Sunnybrook Farm Museum Pioneer Days Festival is shaping up to be a weekend of fun for all.

Ian Warwick, Executive Director of Sunnybrook Farm Museum, said if people haven’t visited before, then this would be the weekend to do it. The event runs August 19 - 20 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

“The barrel train is running all day, there’re bouncy castles and activities going on all day," he noted. “We have little baby pigs and a couple of calves and some lambs, a donkey, a couple of miniature horses, heritage breed chickens, Daisy the goat is here, so just different animals for people to see that kind of represent what people would have had on the farm.”

The weekend includes a tractor parade at noon on both days featuring machines from 1960 and earlier. Entrants come from all over Alberta, but Warwick said most of the 60-80 participating tractors come from central Alberta, on top of the 36 tractors the Museum has in their own collection.

Pancake breakfasts kick off both days from 8 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Other events running both days include a silent auction, Canada: 150 years of farming exhibition, antique toy display, live farm animal exhibition, and threshing and field demonstrations.

The Canada: 150 years of farming exhibition will feature artifacts that detail the evolution of farming equipment from the scythe to the modern combine. Threshing demonstrations take place both days at 11 a.m. and volunteers around the site will demonstrate wood splitting and even making shingles. 

"It just made it so much easier for farmers to be able to do all this work and that’s what our museum is all about is telling the story about how much work it was when we first started. It’s kind of neat to see the old machines running,” said Warwick.

Also featured on Saturday is a cookie walk, with cookies brought in by the museum volunteers. Warwick said it starts at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and runs until the cookies are gone. “Sometimes they last until Sunday, but usually they’re all gone on Saturday.”

Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. a Cowboy church service will be held for all to attend.

When events like the Cowboy church service are not running in the mornings both days, there will be live music featuring local folk and country musicians. “[The live music runs] up until noon when the tractors fire up and it just gets too loud.”

The cost to attend is $5/person or $15/family. Sunnybrook Farm Museum is located at 4701 – 30 Street with parking available at the Academy of Learning immediately west of Sunnybrook Farm Museum.

"It’s inside Red Deer, so here’s a 10 acre farm museum in the middle of the city. It’s really neat to see the sites. It was James Bower’s original farm from 1899 so it’s a piece of Red Deer history and people can celebrate that or if they’ve been here before, they know how awesome it is.”

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