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Photos: Heritage Day celebrates culture and community

The event featured a variety of activities and demonstrations aimed at celebrating the region's heritage.

ESTEVAN — The Souris Valley Museum hosted its Heritage Day on June 22, offering a blend of cultural heritage and family-friendly activities. The event, held on the museum's grounds, attracted between 250-300 visitors.

"We're pretty happy with that," said Melanie Memory, director and curator of the SV Museum. "The weather co-operated, and the day was good."

The event featured a variety of activities and demonstrations aimed at celebrating the region's heritage.

Activities included a wool carding demonstration by Ruth Langwieser and a summer student with the Estevan Art Gallery and Museum, using locally-sourced alpaca wool. The Saskatchewan Association of Blacksmiths was down for the day for a blacksmith demonstration.

"We had a blacksmith here, Mark, who belongs to the Saskatchewan Blacksmith Association. He came down with two of his people, and they were doing forging on their display," Memory said, noting the unique demonstration attracted a lot of interest and questions from guests.

The event took place the day after National Indigenous Peoples Day, and Memory said they wanted to incorporate elements of it as well. So, the museum partnered with the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan Local No. 25, who provided a lunch of homemade hamburger soup and bannock.

Also, the president of the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan Local No. 182, Dexter Mondor from the Kenosee Lake area, conducted a teepee setup, incorporating educational elements about Indigenous culture.

"He set up two teepees and inside them, he put some hides, different herbs and things like that, which are native to Indigenous people," Memory said.

Visitors had the chance to assist in the set-up and learn about the significance of each part of the teepee.

The event also featured a Hooligan Acres petting zoo from Weyburn, which brought many animals and also offered pony rides for children.

"The petting zoo, of course, was pretty popular with the kids," Memory noted.

Additionally, there was face painting, quilting demonstrations, games and tours of the museum and its buildings. One of the museum's board members was also dressed in a period uniform, adding to the Heritage Day atmosphere.

"We tried to incorporate some of the heritage themes, like blacksmithing, wool carding and quilting," Memory said. "But then I also tried to grab the family's attention by including face painting and the petting zoo, featuring farm animals, which is also part of heritage and farming pioneer life."

The event was made possible through the Sask Lotteries Community Grant facilitated by the city. This support allowed the museum to offer the event free of charge.

Heritage Day also featured a Lucky Seven raffle fundraiser, with proceeds supporting the museum's efforts to restore the coal mine locomotive, which is a part of their collection.

The raffle, which features seven different gift baskets, donated by local businesses, will continue until July 12 with a potential extension. Tickets can be purchased at the museum and online through Facebook.