‘Prairie Days’ are coming Sept. 25 and 26

Staff report

GREENVILLE — Step through a wrinkle in time to experience life on the Ohio frontier. This weekend, Sept. 25 and 26, the Darke County Park District will host its annual “Prairie Days” festival at Shawnee Prairie Preserve, located at 4267 St. Rt. 502 West, near Greenville.

As festival attendees 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 and watch apple butter sizzle over the fire, make children’s pioneer crafts, view local artists’ works, enjoy live music, and entertainment.

Live performances will be presented by The Darke County Civic Theatre on Saturday, Sept. 25, from 11:30 a.m., 1:45 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 26, at 12:45 p.m. Once again, the SilverGrass Band will return to perform Saturday at 3:30 p.m. In addition, the DCP welcomes The Drab Irish Band to Prairie Days Sunday, Sept. 26, at 3 p.m.

Between acts, sit-a-spell with the pioneer volunteers in the log house or take a turn at candle-making, visit the birds under the buckeye, and much more. The 18th century encampment will be open for visitors, with an opportunity to watch a tomahawk and knife throwing competition.

Bakers can prepare their best pies to enter in the “Friends of the Darke County Parks’ Pie-Baking Contest” held Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Just $2 per pie to enter in any (or all) of the following categories: Apple, Peach, Berry, or Other. Be sure to submit pies in a disposable pan. Unfortunately, we cannot accept meringue or refrigerated pies. The winner will take home a cash prize.

Take a load off by enjoying fresh produce from Downing’s Fruit Farm, an ice cream cone from Just Ice Cream, or by visiting one of the non-profit vendors serving a wide variety of foods for lunch, snacks, and more. Feeling lucky? Enter the DCP annual basket raffle before leaving the event! There is a birder’s basket, kitchen basket, autumn basket, and a beautiful handmade quilt. Tickets can be purchased through Sunday, Sept. 26, for $1. per ticket or 6 for $5, and are available at Shawnee Prairie Preserve. Winners will be drawn Sunday, Sept. 26, at 4:30 p.m, at the conclusion of the Prairie Days festival.

Admission and parking are free for the Darke County Park’s Prairie Days Festival, which will take place at Shawnee Prairie Preserve, and 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, which will allow event goers easier access to and from the parking area to the festival grounds.

Handicap parking will, once again, be available in the paved lot at the Nature Center. (Please be sure to have your Handicap Placard visible). For more information, call the Nature Center at 937-548-0165 or visit the website at www.darkecountyparks.org