Demonstrations and historical encampment at Prairie Days


DARKE COUNTY – The Prairie Days festival held Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sept. 27 from 12 – 5 p.m., will feature demonstrations of pioneer skills and trades, said organizers.

The lineup for this year includes staples of the frontier like basket weaving, lye soap making, children’s toy woodworking, chair caning brain tanning, and hide stretching.

There are also historical demonstrations of a slightly more modern persuasion like a mechanical corn shredder; wood burning, carving, and painting gourds; flute making; a honey demonstration; and cleaning alpaca fleece.

These demonstrations will be scattered throughout the grounds during the weekend.

Near the sugar shack, Tom Franklin will give an interpretation of David Conner, pioneer fur trader and Indian agent, and he will also have a cross cut saw demonstration. The historical encampment will feature long hunters, trappers, and blanket traders all dressed in period correct clothing and accoutrements.

Those participating the in the encampment will take part in a historical skill competition on Saturday at 1 p.m. and a tomahawk and knife throwing competition on Sunday at 2 p.m. The encampment will also feature a muzzleloader display in the lean-to including firearms from the 1790s through the early 19th century.

“Come explore all these demonstrations, talk with the historical interpreters, and enjoy all the other fun, educational, and family friendly activities at the 2015 Prairie Days festival,” said organizers.

The event has plenty of free parking and free admission. For questions or more information, call the Nature Center at 937-548-0165.

Staff report

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