DARKE COUNTY — Step through a wrinkle in time to experience life on the Ohio frontier. On the weekend of September 23 and 24, the Darke County Park District will host its annual Prairie Days festival at Shawnee Prairie Preserve at 4267 State Route 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 made 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 2:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3:30 p.m. The Silver Grass Band will perform on Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m., enjoy the stories of Johnny Appleseed as he passes through Prairie Days during his journeys. Also on Sunday, we welcome back the Thien Snipps Band who will perform at 2 p.m. 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. Don’t forget to visit the Greenville FFA and their farm animal petting zoo for the young and young-at-heart to learn and enjoy. Be sure to take a lap around the festival with a horse and wagon ride provided by Carrs Belgians.
Calling all bakers! Prepare your best pie 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 and we cannot accept meringue or refrigerated pies. Winner takes home a cash prize! There will also be a wide variety of food to choose from. Take a load off as you enjoy fresh produce from Downing’s 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 our annual basket raffle before you leave! Baskets this year include themes such as paddling, kitchen, gardening, and bird watching! We hope to see you next weekend (September 23 and 24) at Shawnee Prairie Preserve where 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. For more information, call the Nature Center at 937-548-0165 or visit the website at www.darkecountyparks.org.