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New campgrounds to benefit Threshermen's Reunion 0

By Clarise Klassen, QMI Agency

Sheaves of oats are loaded into a wagon as part of a stooking and threshing demonstration at a previous Threshermen’s Reunion and Stampede at the Manitoba  Agricultural Museum. This year’s reunion runs from July 25-28. (PORTAGE DAILY GRAPHIC FILE PHOTO)

Sheaves of oats are loaded into a wagon as part of a stooking and threshing demonstration at a previous Threshermen’s Reunion and Stampede at the Manitoba Agricultural Museum. This year’s reunion runs from July 25-28. (PORTAGE DAILY GRAPHIC FILE PHOTO)

There’s a new addition to the 59th annual Threshermen’s Reunion and Stampede that is sure to please visitors and volunteers alike — upgraded and expanded campgrounds.

The Threshemen’s Reunion attracts 10,000 visitors and close to 700 volunteers annually to the Manitoba Agricultural Museum near Austin. Now they have a better place to stay, according to Gloria Sims, president of the museum’s board of directors.

“Over the past year, we’ve realized the need for 30-amp service for our visitors,” Sims said. “We should have 24 30-amp sites available by July 22. It’s very exciting. It’s an improvement for us as a museum and as a campground.”

The Three Creeks Campground is open from May to September and is located adjacent to the museum grounds. It also has 61 15-amp sites, which provide enough power for campers to run their fridges or air conditioners, although not both at once.

A new 40-site campground with 30-amp service has been added for volunteers who attend the reunion and also participate in work weekends leading up to the big annual event.

“It’s been a project about 20 years in the making. From 1992, when we first started a volunteer campground fund. We’ve set aside a certain portion each year and we were able to open 40 sites available for them,” Sims said.

Visitors and volunteers will need to get a good rest in order to take in the multitude of activities that make up the Threshermen’s Reunion, which runs July 25-28.

“It is really a celebration of our heritage,” Sims said of the annual event, which will feature expos on all lines of Massey agricultural equipment, plus horsepower.

The president said the horsepower group is quite excited.

“They’ve found pieces – some have been on our grounds or in other yard sites. They’ve taken time to restore them,” she said, including a seed drill and haying equipment.

The reunion will feature the Manitoba Clydesdale Classic and MRCA/CCA Rodeo, a daily vintage parade through the grandstand, a farrier competition and classic car show on July 27, a variety of entertainers in the “Corn and Barley Corral” from the afternoon of July 25 to the evening of July 28, plus children’s activities, bingo, and a host of demonstrations for everything from quilting to the blacksmithing, to a sawmill and steam engines.

The Heritage Village will be fully staffed with volunteers, said Brad Froggatt, chief museum’s officer and curator.

“The grist mill will be operating and you can buy ground oats. The blacksmith shop will be holding demonstrations and there will be people inhabiting most of the buildings in our village.”

He added that a new clay bake oven is being built in the village.

“We’re going to be doing cinnamon buns non-stop,” Froggatt said, “Rather than doing it as a one-time thing, it will be ongoing.

There will also be additional food vendors besides the four permanent stands, he added.

“Of course, (July 28) is family day when the rodeo starts at 5 p.m.”

The curator pointed out the reunion helps raise funds to cover the year-round operating costs of the museum.

Admission is $15/day for adults, $8 for students and children 6 and up, and free for kids 5 and younger. Four-day passes are also available.

“We’re going to be doing cinnamon buns non-stop,” Froggatt said, “rather than doing it as a one-time thing, it will be ongoing.

There will also be additional food vendors besides the four permanent stands, he said.

“Of course, Sunday is family day when the rodeo starts at 5 p.m.”

The curator pointed out the reunion helps raise funds to cover the year-round operating costs of the museum.

Admission is $15/day for adults, $8 for students and children 6 and up, and free for kids 5 and younger. Four-day passes are also available.

Sims is looking forward to the reunion, which attracts people from far and wide.

“It’s provincial and even international. We have people from North Dakota that are members, we have people from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario that are members,” she said, adding that Manitoba’s lieutenant-governor and minister of culture, heritage and tourism will be at the museum on July 26, to take in the events and tour the museum.

“We are very delighted that we’re on their agenda,” Sims said of Philip Lee and Flor Marcelino. “We’re delighted that they’re coming and at the chance to highlight our museum.”

Plans are already in the works for the 60th anniversary of the Threshermen’s Reunion in 2014.

“I like to think we put on a really good show. There’s a lot of moving parts. It’s a lot of fun, it takes a lot of volunteer time and we really appreciate the visitors that do come,” Sims said.

There are too many events to list them all. Check out the full schedule at ag-museum.com.

clarise.klassen@sunmedia.ca

Twitter@PDGclarisek

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