History of the Festival
In the 1980's, a group of Wainfleet residents shared the same vision and worked diligently to make it come true. Thus in 1988, the first Marshville Heritage Festival was born. "The lifestyle of a Wainfleet farm family in the 1890's" was the theme of that first festival & still remains to today.
The Morgan-Neff Log Cabin & the Dean Sawmill, (that also housed the Palcso Blacksmith Shop) were the only buildings that year, both taken down and reconstructed by the Festival founders and volunteers. There were a small number of farm demonstrators, entertainment, Black Powder group, food vendors, crafters, Town Crier Robert Heil, and 5000 visitors. It was truly a successful Festival...well beyond their expectations!
As we open our 30th annual Festival we are thankful that these same people who reconstructed and moved 17 more buildings and who continue to give their time to keep improving and maintaining Wainfleet's unique Marshville Heritage Village. We are very grateful to many individuals and local businesses for their donations of equipment, cash, and artifacts over the past years. Our only source of revenue is from the three-day annual festival and is used to build, refurbish, and maintain this operation for the following year.
No one is paid and no public monies have ever been used.
Over the years, Marshville has been involved with many community projects including many improvements to the Wainfleet arena in the areas of hydro, washrooms, and refurbished picnic tables. Tennis Courts have been resurfaced and soccerfields upgraded. Monetary gifts have been given to the Wainfleet Fair Board and the Wainfleet Firefighters plus many memorial gifts.
In addition to the annual Festival there are private tours and Grade 3 students are privileged to participate in our "In the Village" school program using provincial-curriculum-based school programs.
On the last Sunday in November, our volunteers help to organize "Christmas in the Village". An afternoon of hands-on fun for the whole family. Celebrate Christmas in the good old fashioned way!
We have been truly blessed with many volunteers, good weather and, a core group of very hard working individuals who know that our great heritage will be lost if events such as these are not available for all to experience.
We think of those individuals who were faithful volunteers and have now passed away. Their spirit of community will always be remembered.