GREENVILLE — Darke County Park District hosted its Prairie Days this past weekend at Shawnee Prairie Preserve, enabling visitors to experience life on the Ohio frontier.
Darke County Civic Theater and its cast presented the melodrama, “Switched At the Crossroads” or “Truth Will Oust,” directed by Laura Francis Shafer. Members of the cast were Jessica Setser, Maia Wisner, Kianna Dishman, Georgia Wetzel, Samuel Ploch, Livy Wetzel, Elizabeth Moss, Anielle Recchia and Sarah Crumrine. They performed twice on Saturday and were supposed to perform Sunday, but canceled because of rain.
As promised, those who wandered through the grounds would 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.
They could also see apple butter cooking over the fire, children playing pioneer games, local artists’ works and hear live music and entertainment.
The SilverGrass Band performed on Saturday, followed by the Ramblin’ Rovers. On Sunday, guests could hearing the sounds of Noah Back singing and had the opportunity on Sunday to hear Johnny Appleseed sharing stories while wandering the festival grounds.
There also was candle-making and tinsmithing and a chance for children to make crafts.
In the 18th Century encampment, visitors could watch a tomahawk- and knife-throwing competition.
As part of the Prairie Day festivities The Friends of Darke County Parks hosted their annual pie-baking contest. Each year the Friends ask for pies in four categories: apple, berry, peach and other. This year there were 17 entries. A variety of pies were entered; including: Apple, raspberry, peach, cherry, five fruit, strawberry rhubarb, and a mallow praline sweet potato pie.
Three community members reviewed, tasted, and ranked each pie based on presentation, taste and flavor, crust, consistency and texture, and overall impression. The pie with the highest points won that category. The pie with the highest points overall won best in show and a $25 cash prize.
Each winner received a certificate, as follows: apple category, Elaine Singer; berry category, Darlene Dillon with a raspberry pie; peach category, Maria Sprinkle with peach cobbler pie; and other category, Darlene Dillon with a cherry pie. Best of show went to Darlene Dillon with the raspberry pie.
Each pie brought in a $2 donation to the Friends. After judging, pie slices are sold at Mad Anthony’s Tavern. These proceeds all go to the Friends of Darke County Parks.
The Friends would like to thank their three pie judges: Travis Nicholas, Diane Barga and Bob Besecker. The Friends would also like to thank all who entered the contest and all who purchased pie slices at the tavern.
“And a huge thank-you to Darlene Dillon for donating her $25 cash prize back to the Friends,” said Park Commissioner Tina White.
The pie baking contest was organized by White with assistance from volunteers Mitzi Johnson, Denise Dillman, Stacey Adkins and Paige Adkins.