SIOUX CENTER—Hundreds of children are set to visit Heritage Village in Sioux Center this Friday as part of the Harvest Festival.
The annual event hosted by the Sioux Center Heritage Board allows the school children to participate in a number of activities and see life from another era.
Heritage Village will open for students at 8:45 a.m.2:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17. The area will open to the public at 2:30 p.m. and will close at 5 p.m. Heritage Village will reopen to the public 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
Popular attractions include the cider press, the sawmill, watching horseshoes be made at the blacksmith’s shop, and the petting zoo. Other demonstrations include tours of the buildings, rug making, sheep shearing and a running threshing machine.
Throughout the day Friday, a chainsaw artist will carve figures from a pine tree.
“The purpose of the harvest festival is to take a moment and step back in history to learn and appreciate how hard that work was to sustain a living,” said Heritage Board member Larry Te Grotenhuis. “You can look back at where we were and where we are now. It’s hard to wrap your mind around that.”
It’s a bittersweet event for the Heritage Board, as this will be final Harvest Festival held at this location. That’s because Heritage Village is scheduled to move to a new location at Tower Fields. The move is needed to make way for the planned indoor turf facility, called the American State Bank Sports Complex.
Still, this is a return to form for the annual celebration, which operated with limited numbers last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There were about 350 students who attended last year. Letters were sent to 22 schools inviting them to attend this year’s festival, with 750 students expected to come.
However, as the virus continues to spread in this area, Heritage Board members encourage those who feel ill to remain at home. Hand sanitizing stations will also be at Heritage Village.
Heritage Board member Linda Altena gave thanks to the support the community has given Heritage Village through the years, adding that they hope to hold a community appreciation day in the near future as a final send off for Heritage Village’s present location.
She added that tours of Heritage Village can be arranged by calling the city offices at 712-722-0761.