Thousands came to enjoy the first-ever Aggie Days Mountainview that is sure to return next year.

Over two days, over 2,000 people came to enjoy the event held at the MVE Heritage Centre just east of Cremona. May 13 was set aside for tours by four Mountainview schools before the Saturday public event.

People of all ages were treated to plenty of hands-on activities, demonstrations, displays, and valuable information in and outside of the Big Red Barn.

"I've never seen so many happy and engaged children," says Greg Harris, one of the event's creators and also county deputy reeve. All the stuff that's offered to learn about crops and animals, it's just amazing."

People lined up for the opportunity to get their custom brand, courtesy of The Stockmen's. It's just a taste of the fully interactive branding experience they offer here at the Cochrane RancheHouse.

Chris Rowan and Lynn Fluery, of Iron Clover & Fabrication, gave spectators a taste of the work of a blacksmith.

"Blacksmiths settled a town before it was a town because they would have to make the nails, to make the hammers to build the homes," says Rowan. "So we're here to bring it back to the grassroots."

He sees value in events like Aggie Days.

"I think If we can bridge the gap between urban and rural, it's nothing but a benefit to show the younger generations why we brand cattle, and what the jobs are for blacksmiths and farriers."

Fortis had a huge presence at the event with about a half dozen people at various stations. Saturday, they presented prizes to the winners of the Farm Safety Poster Contest.

Like many, Todd Dettling, Fortis vice-president of customer and stakeholder engagement, says they welcome the return of in-person events.

"It's a big opportunity for us today to get out into the community, be visible, and talk about powerline safety. We've got some displays of equipment that we use around powerlines and hazard boards to educate young children and family members of the hazards of working around powerlines."

Rides in the bucket of an ATCO utility truck were also high on the list of popular attractions for kids.

Not to be overlooked is the huge educational component of the day. Multiple agricultural and rural organizations manned booths and there was a strong presence from both Olds College and the University of Calgary.

The Heritage Centre is on a historic site originally homesteaded in 1903. The original barn was built in 1904 and the home was ordered from an Eaton's catalog in 1915.

"It came to Alberta on the train to Carstairs, and then by horse and wagon to the current location," explains Debora Rice-Salomons, volunteer coordinator and president of Mountain View Events.

She says events like this are special.

"It takes people back to a simpler time. We like to say we create memories here. We share memories of times gone by and create memories for those who come."

"We're excited to bring it to Mountainview County. We're going to be started our planning for 2023 in the next month or so."

There's also a tractor rodeo at the centre on Aug. 28.