(Can you see find Andrew in the feature photo? It’s like a Where’s Waldo puzzle!)
This past Saturday, the Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach hosted a free Winter Carnival for families. Andrew and I went to check it out, because it offered a rare chance to explore the outdoor street village in winter!
There were many cozy fun events inside, like a crokinole tournement, Metis storyteller, and a cafe where you could warm up with a bowl of chicken noodle soup.
Outside, I marched straight past the croki-curl and people roasting marshmallows around the fire, and headed directly for the semlin, so I could observe the semlin in the snow, and think about the settlers’ first winter in Manitoba in 1874… and how terrible that experience must’ve been. (For real. I’m not sure there’s a positive way to spin what that first winter might have felt like for them. Hiding from the icy wind, crowded into a dirt hovel for months on end, facing cold unlike anything they’d encountered before…)
Of course, every time we’re at the MHV, we’re drawn to the sculpture of Dirk Willems. I love the contrast of the sculpture against the snow. Also, because it was obviously below freezing when when Dirk’s captor broke through the ice, seeing the sculpture in winter makes it a little easier to imagine how the scene played out…
I find the Barkfield School quite photogenic.
And the windmill is always breathtaking!
A highlight for pretty much everyone was the horse-drawn sleigh rides!
It was wonderful to see so many families with small children out and about, playing and exploring at the Mennonite Heritage Village this past Saturday!
The next big event at the MHV will be the Southeast Writers Festival on May 1st & 2nd (so excited for this!) AND of course the street village and Livery Barn Restaurant will officially open for the season on May 1st. Until then, you can stop in to see the fascinating Russländer Exhibit (which ends April 1st), visit the permanent gallery which’ll catch you up on Mennonite history (I’ve learned a LOT from this permanent exhibit), and shop Village Books & Gifts, which is one of my favourite stores. (I’m grateful it’s open year-round!)
Other posts about the MHV: