The 16th annual Weyburn Wheat Festival will again cut a wide swath through the city’s cultural scene from August 9-12.
The Wheat Festival combines a large crop of activities for people of all ages.
The T.C. Douglas Performing Arts Centre will be putting on a production of “The Pink Panther Strikes Again,” a theatrical version of the 1976 Peter Sellers film.
“We wanted to do something that was just a lot of fun,” said John Nolan, tourism and culture director at the centre.
“We’ve done other things in the past that have been very serious, but this one is just a crazy comedy,” he added.
Performances will start a few days before the Wheat Festival begins, starting on Wednesday, August 8, running each night until Saturday at 8 p.m. There will also be a Sunday afternoon matinee at 2 p.m.
“We’re expecting that every age group, from kids to adults, will enjoy the show, and we hope they will just laugh and have fun,” said Nolan.
The T.C. Douglas Centre will also be open to the public for tours. Formerly the Calvary Baptist Church, the centre was the building where Tommy Douglas, former Premier of Saskatchewan, federal NDP leader and father of medicare, preached his first sermon as a Baptist minister. Elements of Douglas’ time at the church are preserved for the public to observe in the memorabilia room. The centre will be open for public tours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
For a trip back into Weyburn’s past during the festival, Heritage Village will be hosting Heritage Days on Friday and Saturday.
Demonstrations in blacksmithing, rope-making, ice cream making, butter churning, and using an outdoor oven will be on display at Heritage Village on Friday and Saturday.
There will also be a barbecue at Heritage Village from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.
An exhibition of the South Sask. Photo Club’s work will be on display at the Signal Hill Arts Centre.
“It’s the year’s worth of work from members of the club,” explains Jon Gillies, coordinator for the club.
Club members entered photos into six categories in a judged photo competition that was open to all skill levels. The top three photos in each category, as well as a few other select photos, were entered into the exhibit. Photos range from landscapes, to animals, and even a category for digitally manipulated photos.
The Soo Line Museum will also be attracting visitors for the Wheat Festival, drawing them in with the delicious smell of homemade bread. On Thursday, Aug. 9, some of the city’s best bakers will be entering their breads, buns, and specialty baking for judging. Entrants will compete in six categories with prizes for the top three entrants in the handmade white breads, handmade whole wheat breads, handmade multi-grain breads, handmade specialties, handmade white buns and handmade brown buns categories.
“It is certainly a mix of things,” said Joan Gregory, business manager for the museum.
“Especially in the specialty category, we have had some good things that get entered, like cinnamon buns,” she added.
The public will get a chance to bid on the breads in a silent auction held on Friday, August 11, with winners of the tasty treats being notified by phone.
The Soo Line Museum will also have free admission for the public during the Wheat Festival on Friday and Saturday. They will also be selling saskatoon and rhubarb pie for $3.50 a slice as a fundraiser for the museum. Gregory said the museum is expecting a good turnout for the festival, planning for around 300 attendees.
The Weyburn Horticultural Society will also be contributing to the Wheat Festival, hosting the Provincial Horticultural Show from Aug. 9-10 at Knox Hall.
“You don’t have to be a horticultural association member to present at the show,” said Grace Plonka, Weyburn Horticultural Society president.
“We like people to come and show us what they have been growing,” she added.
The public will get a chance to see the beautiful flowers, fruits, vegetables and other plants on Friday afternoon, when the society opens their Tea Room at Knox Hall.
Tea, coffee and strawberry shortcake will be served from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday, August 10.
A Farmers Market will be on at the City Centre Mall from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday. The Minard’s People Mover will be touring the Farmers Market, Soo Line Museum, T.C. Douglas Performing Arts Centre, Signal Hill Arts Centre, and Heritage Village from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The people mover will leave from the east side of the City Centre Mall on Second Street every hour.
A “Worship and Praise” service will be offered by the Weyburn Ministerial Association at the Comp Cafetorium at 3 p.m. on Sunday.