Lang Pioneer Village Museum opening May 23

·3 min read

Lang Pioneer Village Museum, located north of Keene in Otonabee-South Monaghan Township, will open for its 2023 season on May 23.

Launched in 1967, the outdoor museum features more than two dozen restored and reconstructed buildings, where costumed interpreters demonstrate the lifestyle of local settlers and Indigenous people during the 19th century.

To start the season, Lang Pioneer Village will be open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — until next month when the springtime hours end.

On June 18, the 26th annual Father’s Day Smoke and Steam Show will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — marking the beginning of Lang’s summer hours and its special event season.

The yearly celebration returned last summer after it was cancelled in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Father’s Day event was re-envisioned online during the summer of 2020.

“It was so nice to have people back on site,” said museum operations manager Elizabeth King about the event’s return in 2022. “We are hoping to have the same momentum this year as we seek to rebuild the visitor base, support and attendance that we had pre-pandemic.”

Billed as “the Kawarthas’ original tractor show,” the Smoke and Steam event features power equipment from visiting demonstrators — along with the museum’s own collection — plus tractor displays, tractor games, vintage farm trucks, tractor and wagon rides and a tractor parade.

It also includes crafts for kids, music, food and a beer tent on site. The doors will be open at village buildings, where interpreters will be on hand to demonstrate daily chores and the forms of power settlers harnessed in the 1800s, when smoke and steam was often used to power engines.

On July 9, the pioneer village will host the 26th annual Transportation Day Car and Motorcycle Show., followed by Village By Lantern Light on Aug. 12 and the Corn Roast on Aug. 27. The roast will give guests the chance to celebrate the early harvest season with tasty fire-cooked corn.

Fall will be welcomed at Lang with the return of Applefest on Oct. 1 and Historic All Hallows’ Eve on Oct. 27 and 28.

Holiday celebrations include the Christmas Bazaar on Nov. 18 — a wide range of local artisans will set up shop at the Peterborough County Agricultural Heritage Building — and Christmas by Candlelight on Dec. 2 and Dec. 3.

“We’ve been working on opening up the heritage buildings, cleaning up the site, and freshening up our content with lots of opportunities to see and do throughout your visit with us,” King said.

The museum is making a concerted effort to make each visit an experience for guests, according to King.

“We’re really focusing on a return to hands-on and sensory opportunities — where people aren’t just seeing but also getting a chance to do the things,” King said.

This ranges from making a print and taking it home to harvesting herbs or helping an interpreter with a choir.

From Father’s Day to Labour Day Weekend, Lang will operate Wednesdays to Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tickets for day visits and special events can be purchased at the door or in advance at

Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.

Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner