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Midale's Pioneer Echoes harks back to old-time threshing days

Midale's Pioneer Echoes event, with a parade of antique tractors and threshing demonstration, was held Saturday and Sunday, along with opening the heritage village where one could find fried bread, saskatoon pie and ice cream, and the rock-climbing wall.

MIDALE - The annual celebration of agricultural traditions that is the Pioneer Echoes Weekend took place in Midale on Saturday and Sunday.

The Souris Valley Antiques Association organized the activities, many of which were held at the town’s pioneer village and fairgrounds.

“Overall, we had a pretty good weekend,” said Glenn McGregor, who was part of the organizing committee for the event. “We had a pretty good weekend on both days … and I think we had one of the best parades that we’ve had. It went fairly smooth, so that was a plus.” 

The festivities started Saturday and Sunday with pancake breakfasts in the downtown area. For the first time, a children’s pedal tractor pull was offered during the meal.

 “It was for the kids to have a little bit of fun, and whoever did it, their name went into a draw, and we picked a winner at the end of the weekend for the tractor,” said McGregor. 

Then the town’s historical village was open. A concession was available throughout the rest of the morning and into the afternoon. A tractor parade occurred at 2 p.m., with dozens of old tractors making their way through the grounds.

McGregor believes there was approximately 60 tractors participating each day, between those that belong to the museum and those that people brought in for the weekend.

“Some of them really show their age, but they still run, so it’s nice to see that they can still put on enough miles to pull through,” said McGregor, who noted that some of the tractors still look pretty good.

A live threshing demo followed the parade.

“We managed to get both wagons off [and running], and we had a little hiccup with the threshing machine, but we got it fixed up and back running to finish off the weekend,” said McGregor. “Then on Sunday we also pulled out the old steel-wrapped baler and made some straw bales from the straw that was coming from the threshing machine.”

A flea market and a rock-climbing wall were offered, the buildings in the historical village were open for perusing and a blacksmith, Richard Knibbs of Regina, was on the grounds and was said to be busy.

During the breakfast, the old Moser and the Dr. William Graham Mainprize collections were open for tours, as was items within the museum in downtown Midale.

A church service was held Sunday morning. 

McGregor said it was good to have a full event again and it was good to see lots of people out.

“The presence of people being on the grounds was good,” said McGregor.

The Pioneer Echoes weekend requires a lot of volunteers, but as McGregor points out, they never have enough. They’re still able to make sure the event happens each year.

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