Mennonite culture and history was on display this past weekend at Neubergthal Culture Day.
The street village, located east of Altona along Highway 421, hosted its annual celebration on Saturday.
Neubergthal Heritage Foundation Board Chair Terry Mierau says the community is one of the best examples of an original street village layout. He noted the West Reserve was covered in these types of villages a hundred years ago, but most have dissolved since then.
Mierau explains the community represents a mixture of past and present Mennonite culture.
"What's interesting is that Neubergthal's not a museum. People live in Neubergthal, people farm, work, commute, raise families, grow old. It's a community that is alive.We're not talking about anything that's static."
Neubergthal is probably best known for its collection of housebarns, many of which are still being used today. Its also been named an official historic site by Parks Canada.
Mierau noted that the first Culture Day was held a couple of years ago. He said the focus at that time was music, while this year they wanted to give attention to the Low German language, which is important to Mennonites as they move throughout the world.
"The point of Culture Days for the Neubergthal Heritage Foundation is, we're trying to reach an audience on sort of three levels," said Mierau. "We want to do something directly for our village, for the village of Neubergthal, for the people here and that's sort of our first circle of influence. Next is, situated in the West Reserve, as a really good example of a street village in the West Reserve, we want to speak to and serve that constituency as well...Recognizing that it is a national historic site, we do aim to serve a wider Canadian audience as well."
Organizers were please with the turnout on Saturday, with between 15 to 30 people attending each of the three sessions throughout the day. There was also a supper held at the community centre and the event concluded Saturday night with a sold-out concert in the Krahn Barn.
The Neubergthal Heritage Foundation receives most of its funding from private donations and foundations, in addition to government grants.