The Lacombe and District Historical Society is looking forward to putting on their annual Hammer-In Festival this weekend at the Blacksmith Shop Museum. The shop is the oldest operational Blacksmith’s shop in Alberta located at 5020 49 Street in Lacombe. On Saturday, (August 27, 2022) people will have the opportunity to take in some local history, learn more about blacksmithing, and check out the wares of local vendors at an Artisan Market.
“This year we're actually doing two events on the same day at the same location. We have the annual Hammer-In Festival as well as an Artisan Market happening. 49th St that will be shut down all day on August 27th. The festival is from 10 to 4 as well as the Artisan Market,” said Executive Director of the Lacombe and District Historical Society, Melissa Blunden.
There is going to be over 20 vendors coming to the Artisan Market and over eight blacksmiths coming from all across the province. The Blacksmiths will also be setting up some portable forges in the parking lot of the Blacksmith’s shop. There will be live demonstrations and guided tours as well.
In the downtown area, residents and visitors might also hear the Blacksmith’s Shop’s trip hammers running for the first time in a decade.
“The trip hammers have been restored. This is a project we've been working on for about 7 to 10 years now. Getting them restored is part of a grant we received in 2021 through the province, the City of Lacombe Heritage Resource Committee. Once they're up and running, we'll actually have them operating on that day on August 27th. It will be the first time in a decade people will be able to hear the triphammers running throughout the whole community. They're quite loud. You should be able to hear it for a few blocks,” said Blunden.
The Historical Society had challenges finding the materials to repair the trip hammers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We had issues getting pieces across the border that we needed that only Little Giant in the US could make. Then we ended up having to get a local machinist to help us custom make a pin for our 50 pound trip hammer so that it could work. There's just been so many little pieces to it to pull it all together,” explained Blunden.
The trip hammer demonstrations will be happening from 11:00AM to 2:30PM.
The Historical Society will close out their night with their sold-out Harvest Dinner held at the Lacombe Memorial Centre’s Lest We Forget Park from 6:00PM to 9:00PM.
For more information on the Hammer-In Festival click here.