Canada Day 2016 in Elkhorn had a few different items this year, and in looking back to last week, they made for a great day in the village and at the newly cleared and fenced grounds at the Elkhorn Auto Museum. A new five dollar admission wrist band to the museum grounds gave you complete access to all events and to all the museum display buildings.
The weather was perfect and the day started off with a pancake breakfast put on by the village council and employees with well over 100 people served. Special guests at the breakfast were MP Larry Maguire and MLA Doyle Piwniuk who made the rounds visiting with their constituents.
There was a play area for children with games and a bounce castle, a flea market, and lots of antique and classic cars, trucks, and tractors to check out. Also, for the children the museums popular barrel train that ran all day with engineer Don Wersine at the controls.
The main museum building had a steady stream of visitors all day with its newest attraction, the century farm house, bringing back lots of memories with its many turn of the century artifacts on display. By 1:00 p.m. the grass verges on either side of the main street were lined with people waiting for the parade of vehicles and floats to start. The announcer for the event was Kevin Tutthill and as each vehicle came by he gave a brief bio of it and thanked all who entered the parade especially those who came from long distances in classic and antique vehicles.
Local area farmer Bill Mulligan displayed his outstanding collection of restored John Deere tractors. Several of the local and area businesses had commercial floats with many throwing out free candy and treats to the kids and the young at heart.
In keeping with tradition, the parade of over 50 entries took a slight detour to go by the local seniors residence. Most of the vehicles would end up at the museum grounds where people could get a closer look and talk to the owners and drivers.
Under the big tent you could sit and enjoy the many different musical artists or even dance. Burgers and hot dogs were on sale and the ladies of the local drop in center had a great strawberry short cake desert. In the afternoon, local steam tractor engine owner Lynn Tutthill, was on hand with his machine and several volunteers from the Austin Agricultural Museums to put on a display of old time thrashing.
There was no shortage of volunteers of all ages to get up on top of the hay rack and start forking sheaves of grain into the rattling and clanking belt of the thrasher. Soon from one end would fly a golden cloud of yellow straw making an inviting pile to jump in and from another pipe out came kernels of grain into a waiting green painted antique grain wagon. Some of the volunteers throwing the sheaves were seniors and one said that it brought back memories of how hard the work was but that it was a simpler time.
During the threshing event three different antique threshing machines were used to check out their function. Later that evening the large pile of straw from the thrashing display would be set on fire in a controlled burn that would light up the area during the fireworks display.
In the evening a special cold plate supper was served up with more than 150 people enjoying the locally prepared food. As dusk approached a large steam tractor engine began to huff and puff in the dying light of the day and colourful show was put on.
In the world of steam tractor engines the event is called a spark show and as the engine is revved up a huge glowing red and orange plume of sparks shoot up from the engine smoke stack putting on a brilliant show. Next would follow the traditional fireworks display which was impressive given the size of the village.
By 12:00 midnight it was all over in the village except for a few individuals who did some fireworks displays.