An interesting festival caught our attention. The summary read:
See the red-serge uniforms of the North West Mounted Police against the blue prairie sky. Kick up your heels to the music of Mark Morisseau, the best Métis fiddler in the land. Have flashbacks watching the retro-fashion show of glad rags spanning the 20th century. Smell the sweet aroma of heavy horses as they pull the elegant carriage you are riding in. Those are just a few of the experiences awaiting visitors to the Third Annual Carberry Heritage Festival, Friday and Saturday August 7 and 8, 2015.

Their slogan probably gives you the best idea what it’s all about: “Where everything old is new again”.

Carberry is the largest town in the Rural Municipality of North Cypress in southwestern Manitoba, Canada. It is home to 1,669 people and is located 42 kms east of Brandon on the Trans-Canada Highway and 3 kms south on Hwy #5.

While founded in 1762 by those connected to the fur industry, Carberry’s history, like many communities in the area, is tied to the railroad – in this case the Canadian Pacific. In 1882, the CPR established a station at De Winton, a now defunct town-site about 3.5 kilometres east of Carberry’s present site. At the time, several CPR officials covertly purchased much of De Winton’s town-site property, hoping for large personal profits as the new town grew around the new train station. This kind of speculation was strictly against the CPR’s company rules, and on discovering the violation, the rail company decided to use 100 specially hired men to physically move the train station to the present site of the town of Carberry. The extensive and secret operation was conducted in the middle of the night and was completed in less than 12 hours. When the station reached its new location, the town of Carberry was born. Carberry quickly grew into a prosperous town and was an important stop along the Canadian Pacific Railway. The CPR main line route runs through Carberry to this day, however the passenger train station has since been removed.The Trans Canada Highway, another major national transportation route, was originally constructed on a routing that passed directly through the town of Carberry, which it did until the late 1950s when the route was changed according to plans for it to be upgraded to a 4-lane divided high-speed highway. Many businesses were established in Carberry to service the heavy traffic on the highway, many of which still exist. Today the Trans Canada Highway is located 3 km north of Carberry, and the old Trans Canada Highway route which passes directly through the town is known as Provincial Road 351 (within town limits it is known as 1st Avenue).A military training camp was situated nearby during World War I.
Carberry’s Main Street was designated as Manitoba’s first Provincial Heritage District. Two entire blocks of the street are completely made up of historic buildings with architecture dating back well over a century. There are a couple of museums, and a provincial park is nearby.The park, Spruce Woods Provincial Park and the many unique recreational activities in the area make Carberry a popular tourist destination. Many businesses and services cater to tourists both on a seasonal and year-round basis.

Highlights of the festival include a NWMP re-enactment troupe complete with horses and riders dressed in the iconic red-serge uniforms, along with other period costumes, a display of artifacts from the late 1800s, a rope maker and a campfire-donuts demonstration.Another highlight is the vintage fashion show on Saturday with live models wearing duds spanning the decades, from flapper dresses and wide ties to ultra-cool ’50s sleek suits and tight dresses, ’60s flare pants and love beads to those ghastly ’80s prom dresses, all with appropriate music, of course.

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