Prairie Days at Shawnee Prairie


GREENVILLE – Step through a wrinkle in time to experience life on the Ohio frontier. On the weekend of Sept. 28 and 29 the Darke County Park District will host its annual Prairie Days festival at Shawnee Prairie Preserve at 4267 St. Rt. 502 West near Greenville. As festival attendants wander through the grounds, they’ll hear the ring of the blacksmith’s hammer on the anvil, smell fresh bread baking in the outdoor oven, and see long hunters tending their fires in the woodland encampment.

Come watch apple butter cooking over the fire, play children’s pioneer games, view local artists’ works, enjoy live music and entertainment. This year there will be performances by The Darke County Civic Theatre on Saturday at 11 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. and Sunday at 3:30 p.m. The SilverGrass Band will perform on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and at 3:45 p.m. the Ramblin’ Rovers will take the stage. On Sunday at 1:30 p.m., kick back and enjoy the music of Noah Back. On Sunday, Johnny Appleseed will also be wandering the festival sharing stories to anyone that will listen.

Between acts, sit-a-spell with the pioneer volunteers in the Log House or try your hand at candle-making, tin-smithing, and more! Take a stroll through the 18th century encampment and watch a tomahawk and knife throwing competition.

Do you bake the best pie in Darke County? Bring them your homemade Apple, Berry, Peach, or Other Favorite Pie on Saturday, Sept. 28 for our annual Prairie Days Pie Baking Contest. Entries will be accepted 9:30–10 a.m. Saturday morning at the classroom of the Nature Center at Shawnee Prairie Preserve. Judging starts promptly at 10 a.m. The winner of each category will receive a first-place certificate. Overall Best-in-Show will be awarded a cash prize. Winners will be announced during Prairie Days Saturday at 1:50 p.m. at the outdoor stage. Just $2/pie entry fee to enter in any (or all) of the following categories: Apple, Peach, Berry, or Other Favorite Pie. Be sure to submit pies in a disposable pan and they cannot accept meringue or refrigerated pies. After judging, slices of pie will be sold at Mad Anthony’s Tavern.

There will also be a wide variety of food to choose from. Take a load off as you enjoy fresh produce from Downing Fruit Farm, an ice cream cone from Just Ice Cream, or visit one of the non-profit vendors serving a wide variety of foods for lunch, snacks, and more! Feeling lucky? Enter their annual basket raffle before you leave. Baskets this year include themes such as Paddling, Kitchen, Gardening, and Bird Watching.

Admission and parking are free. Transportation from the main parking areas will once again be provided by Greenville Transit System (GTS). Parking areas will be well marked with plenty of signage. This will make getting to and from the parking area to the festival grounds quick, effective, and safe for all family members. Handicap parking will once again be available in the paved lot at the Nature Center. (Please be sure to have your handicap placard visible).

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Plenty of activities will be held throughout Shawnee Prairie, including inside the log house. of activities will be held throughout Shawnee Prairie, including inside the log house. Courtesy photo

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