BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN
Suzuki violin student Owen Chambers performs on the streets of Carberry during Saturday’s heritage festival. Chambers was delighted to have his mother Kim Chambers and grandmother Jess Clark as spectators.
CARBERRY — History was abundant as Main Street in Carberry filled with vendors, musicians and artifacts for their second annual heritage festival.
Smoke and gas blows out of the barrel of Chuck Vidnes’ muzzle loader as he fires off some black powder with members of the Manitoba Muzzleloader’s Association during the Carberry Heritage Festival. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)
Chuck Vidnes explains how the flint-lock mechanism works at the Manitoba Muzzleloader’s Association venue during the festival. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)
Four-year-old Jack Polasek spins a hula hoop from his arm to his leg in the middle of Main Street in Carberry, which was closed for the heritage festival on Saturday. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)
The festival is fitting as Main Street has been declared Manitoba’s only designated heritage district.
"What better way to bring people to our community than to celebrate our history," organizer Cheryl Orr-Hood said. "We are pleased with the turnout this year and hope to make this an ongoing annual event."
Walking tours were offered through the historical downtown, the gingerbread house and the cemetery. Horse-drawn carriage rides toured the town passing century old homes and churches.
The local Communities in Bloom ran a raffle draw to help raise money for their project to bring back some community heritage.
"We are looking to build a picnic shelter in the park, but the roof will be a replica of the top of the old CP Rail station," president Mona Nelson said.
The group had a picture of the old station at its display and the first blueprint of the picnic shelter. The group will be asking for another blueprint that is more accurate to the station.
"The history is really interesting because the station was supposed to be a mile and a half east of town," Nelson said. "A dispute there had the station moved into Carberry."
A similar dispute between CP Rail and the Town of Carberry had the station torn down in the early 1970s.
Small pieces of history like this is why the planning committee decided on a heritage festival. They reached out to many local residents and businesses about getting involved.
Graham Somers lives in Carberry and has a passion for World War history. He stood in front of the Royal Canadian Legion building with a table filled with books about the wars.
"I’ve always been interested in the First World War," Somers said. "Now I am on a quest to get information on what the life of a single soldier was like."
He has spent the last 10 months researching a specific soldier — his father. Eventually Somers wants to write a book about the life that his father would have had during the years of the war.
"It is difficult to find all the information, but it is important to have books," he said. "Knowledge is in books and it is how the next generation will learn about history."
For Somers this festival is just one step in the direction of keeping local histories alive for generations to come.
Other attractions at the Carberry Heritage Festival included a kid zone, Manitoba Muzzleloader’s Association display of antique guns, a flea market and vintage car display.
The committee was pleased with the event and is already looking at ways to make next year bigger and better.
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Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 11, 2014