By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
As summer comes to an end, Coyote Flats Pioneer Village is looking back on another successful season showcasing the history and culture of southern Alberta.
Board president Earl Dunn said that the season has been “very good, with lots accomplished by the volunteers and lots of visitors coming through”. New to the site this year is the Nolan Tack Shop and the Odds & Sods Building, which have been well received by visitors.
Major events hosted at Coyote Flats include a Tractor Pull in June, a Tractor Show of Power parade around Picture Butte, a Show and Shine on Canada Day and a BBQ cook-off in late July.
Harvest Days continued to be a success for Coyote Flats. The two-day event typically consists of harvest demonstrations, dog trials, horse pulls and antique equipment demonstrations, but this year featured two new events: a tractor balance competition and a slow tractor competition.
Volunteer, Shirley Olsen added, “Coyote Flats has experienced an excellent 2023 season. We have seen an increase in visitors as the word is getting out about what a ‘hidden gem’ we are. Our visitor numbers have increased as well as the variety of places our visitors are coming from. As the borders have opened up (post COVID restrictions) we have enjoyed many visitors from U.S. as well as Europe.”
In 2023, Coyote Flats also received help from two summer students who aided the site with tours and on-site painting. According to Olsen, the site experienced hail damage in 2022, and they continue to work on repairs.
With two new building displays open this summer, visitors can expect more to be added this winter.
“The Nolan Tack Shop is a new building full of ‘old’ tack displays and anything to do with leather supplies. The Odds and Sods building is full of odd tools and equipment. A few things in there are guaranteed to make you chuckle. On our wish list for the future are a Sugar Beet Industry Display, a Barbershop and a General Store. All depends on donations,” Olsen explained.
The site also reported the recent Harvest Days 2023 was a “huge success,” with many first time visitors.
Finishing off this year’s events is the annual Pig ‘n Pull Fundraiser, featuring a roasted pig meal “with all of the fixings”, a silent auction and a tractor pull competition. The competition is expected to bring in 40-50 entrants, and the event will run from noon to 9 p.m. on Sept. 30.
There will also be a Silent Auction with items donated by local businesses and supporters of the site.
Dunn said people should come “to show support for Coyote Flats; to support the ongoing success of the Prairie Tractor & Engine Museum and it’s many benefits to the community at large because of the history.”
“We hope that many people will attend and enjoy the step back into the past Tractor Pull, enjoy the roast pig and bid on a few auction items. We are so grateful to those who support the museum. Every cent donated goes directly to the maintenance and building projects of the museum. Our staff are all volunteers,” Olsen concluded.