Building on their annual Settler’s Festival, the Petawawa Heritage Village is hosting an event like no other that will celebrate 150 years of Canada’s confederation through trades and skills.
Celebrating upper Canada becoming part of the union, “Discover the Dominion of Canada,” will take place from Aug. 11 through Aug. 13. In true Petawawa Heritage Village style, the event will showcase re-enactors, trades and skills that will transport attendees back to 1867.
“It’s kind of like a rendez-vouz. All the people would have come in from outside: the voyagers would have come, the trappers would have come, the prospectors, and they would have sent up their tent in the village, and they would have stayed for a few days and celebrated whatever was going. If it was a big celebration, that’s what they would do. And, so, that’s kind of the theme we took.” said Ann McIntyre, President of the Petawawa Heritage Society and Village.
Come and enjoy music, dancing and skills demonstrated by trappers, voyageurs, prospectors, spinners, weavers, blacksmith, carpenters, and all sorts of re-enactor. The re-enactors will set up camp Friday and live in their tents and dress in their time-period costumes all weekend.
There will also be a sheriff and deputy, a settler family, and an apothecary. International knife thrower, Ward Wright, will also be at the event to showcase his skills.
“Once you come through the gates, you’re back in 1867,” assured McIntyre.
Throughout the weekend there will be many activities for children including face painting, a petting zoo, and games. The petting zoo will be open on Saturday, the main day of the weekend.
Saturday’s stage lineup includes performances from local band Tom and Jerry, the Military Wives Choir and more.
The Petawawa Heritage Village will be home to many demos throughout the weekend like the hit and miss engines, square timber and logging. Visitors can even get a sneak peak of the town tartan that will be presented to the mayor of Petawawa in September.
“It’s a one-of-a-kind event. Nobody else around here does this kind of event in Renfrew County, that I know of…It’s a wonderful opportunity for people to see what these re-enactors do and how people lived in the 1800s,” noted McIntyre.
Visitors can also just take the weekend to enjoy what the 3.5 acres of the Petawawa Heritage Village has to offer. Founded in 2005, the Petawawa Heritage Village transports visitors to the 19th century through its school, stable, carpenter shop, blacksmith shop, church, train station, trader cabin and much more.
The popular field trip and day trip destination receive anywhere from three to four thousand visitors each year.
The Petawawa Heritage Village is also integral to the military community in the area. According to McIntyre, nearly 75 per cent of the Village’s volunteers are connected to the military in some way.
“We have a lot of military support for what we do over there. It’s huge,” said McIntyre.
The Petawawa Heritage Village’s Canada 150 event will take place on Aug. 11 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 13, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The event is free to the public. Donations are appreciated.
To learn more about the Petawawa Heritage Village visit their website.