GREENVILLE – Guests can step through a wrinkle in time to experience life on the Ohio frontier on Saturday and Sunday.
The Darke County Park District once again 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.
Guests can come watch as apple butter is made over the fire, play children’s pioneer games, view local artists’ works, and 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 at 1 p.m. Saturday followed by Steve Madewell’s performance at 4 p.m. Starting Sunday’s stage performances will be the Ramblin’ Rovers are on at noon. Next up on stage at 2 p.m., guests can enjoy the stories of Johnny Appleseed as he passes through Prairie Days during his journeys.
Between acts, guests can sit-a-spell with the pioneer volunteers in the log house or try their hand at candle-making, tin-smithing and more. Guests can 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 its 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.
Bakers can prepare their best pie to enter in the Friends of the Darke County Parks’ pie-baking contest held Saturday at 9:30 a.m. The costs is $2 a pie to enter in any or all of the following categories: apple, peach, berry or other. Entrants are asked to submit pies in a disposable pan. Meringue or refrigerated pies cannot be accepted. The winner takes home a cash prize.
There also will be a wide variety of food to choose from. Guests can take a load off as they 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. Individuals also can enter the annual basket raffle before leaving.
Admission and parking are free. Transportation from the main parking areas once again will be provided by Greenville Transit System. 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 once again will be available in the paved lot at the Nature Center.
For more information, call the Nature Center at 937-548-0165 or visit the website at www.darkecountyparks.org.