Gillan Rutz entertained the crowd. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
Tim Crowder cooks up pancake after pancake as hoards of hungry people wait in line for breakfast. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
Aubrey Elliott, 4, proudly shows off the tomato plant she got at the Spring Plant sale, hosted by the Petawawa Horticultural Society. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
Petawawa Heritage Village marks 20 year anniversary
By Patricia Leboeuf
Posted on Thursday July 4, 2019
Whether the meal was historically accurate or not mattered little to the hundreds of people who came out to the Petawawa Heritage Village breakfast.
An estimated 400 people decided to visit the village the morning of May 25 to enjoy some of the day’s activities; many more than organizers had originally anticipated.
“We have been swamped,” admitted Petawawa Heritage Society President Ann McIntyre, pointing out that just after an hour of opening its doors, they had started running out of food.
But the logistics of feeding a massive crowd aside, McIntyre was thrilled to see so many people come out and support the Village.
It is turning 20 years old, having opened in 1999. The breakfast and parallel activities signified the launch of an extremely busy summer.
In the upcoming months, amateur historians will be transported through time with a line-up of amazing events that include the Settler Festival, an escape room, summer programs for youth and seasonally-themed fun. The entire month of June saw visits from students every day.
“They are coming everywhere from Renfrew, Barry’s Bay, Cobden, all over the Valley,” said McIntyre proudly. “I think it’s going to be about 700 kids.”
t hasn’t always been as busy, or as large.
Two decades ago, it started as a small museum. But with the passion, care and dedication of volunteers, it has now grown to incorporate 11 buildings, an outdoor oven and an indigenous camp. The refurbished train station was opened to the public on Saturday as well.
“Every year, we keep adding more and we enhance certain things,” said McIntyre.
To ensure that this year’s breakfast was the best ever, the Village required community partners in addition to their group of dedicated volunteers. These partners included Hyska’s Your Independent Grocer, the Looking Glass Toys and Games, and Starbucks.
The event itself included music by Gillan Rutz, entertainment and games. Also on the grounds was a Spring Plant Sale by the Petawawa Horticultural Society, a massive yard sale by the Military Wives Choir, and a memorial tree planting. A small art show was in the schoolhouse with art by Grace Gendron.
The Village is modernizing a bit, and they have been reaching out to different community partners such as Personnel Support Programs (PSP), the Petawawa Military Family Resource Centre (PMFRC), the Town of Petawawa and local businesses to host different events. A giant game of Werewolf will be held in October, though details are under wraps until tickets go on sale in July.
“There is a lot of excitement coming up and there is going to be lots of fun in our community,” said McIntyre.