Sunnybrook Farm Museum is celebrating its 24th annual Pioneer Days this weekend.
The event, which began Saturday morning and continues through to Sunday afternoon, features a tractor pull competition and tractor parade, pancake breakfast, silent auction, antique and collector car show, toy displays and more.
“This is kind of the old-fashioned experience – what people would have experience when they first moved to Red Deer at the turn of the century,” said Ian Warwick, Sunnybrook Farm Museum executive director.
“It’s all old tractors, traditional handcrafts and great food. It’s just a great, fun family day at the local museum. We got the barrel-train running, the tractors – there’s lots to see and do.”
The Sunnybrook Farm Museum society has existed for 31 years, “since Norman and Iva Bower donated this land to the citizens of Red Deer,” said Warwick.
Warwick, who has been with the museum for nine years, said Pioneer Days grows every year. But, Warwick said he hopes the institution turns into an even more well-known gem in the city.
“With the society, our goal is to entrench this into the pop culture of Red Deer. The number one complaint we get is that people drive right by it and never knew it’s here – there’s just a little entrance.
“The fact that there’s 10 acres protected inside the city just north of Bower (Place) mall, some people just aren’t aware there’s this amazing park where they can come see all this amazing equipment,” he said.
Eighty-five volunteers donate 10,000 hours a year to preserve the museum and land, said Warwick. Having such a great turnout at Pioneer Days makes all the work worth it, he added.
“It’s great to have nice weather – although even in the rain we manage to pull it off. It’s lovely to see so much support for this institution and park. We love doing what we do,” he said.
The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees held its centennial celebration during Pioneer Days Saturday. About 350 AUPE members and guests came out to the event.
Karen Weiers, one of the vice-presidents for AUPE, said Pioneer Days was the perfect place to hold a centennial celebration.
“It’s an exciting day for us to be here in Red Deer at Sunnybrook Farm. Sharing the history with Pioneer Days and celebrating our 100 years takes us back many years ago. Being able to celebrate both is fantastic,” said Weiers.