Sunday, September 26th, 2021

Pioneer Festival returns on September 23, 24

Posted: Friday, September 15, 2017

The Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival returns to for its 42nd year on Saturday and Sunday, September 23 and 24. The festival celebrates Indiana life in the early to mid-1800s, when Native Americans, white settlers and French traders populated the area.

Festival guests can see a blacksmith at work, tradesmen caning chairs and weaving baskets, homemakers churning butter and separating cream and frontiersmen cooking their game over open fires.

The 1st U.S Light Artillery, 1812, will engage in military drills, and riders on horseback will demonstrate their sharpshooting skills. Abe Lincoln will be seen offering his perspective on the times. Huntington’s Champion Hill Toppers will host a vintage baseball tournament, making bare-handed catches and demonstrating the courtly manner common in the early days of the game. The festival stage features continuous entertainment, and more music and even a melodrama is encountered throughout the festival grounds.

Children can learn their lessons in a pioneer school house, play some unique musical instruments, fly through the sky on a merry-go-round made of ropes and logs and try their hands at a variety of games. Although the focus of the festival is the traditional pioneer era, the weekend also pays tribute to pioneering spirits of slightly later times with displays of antique motorcars, vintage bicycles, time-worn tractors and early engines. Crafts and antiques fill two large buildings, and vittles are plentiful.

More information is available online at Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 23, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 24. A nondenominational old-time worship service will be held Sunday at 9 a.m., before the festival opens. Admission is $3 for adults, $1 for students of any age, and free for children under five. Free parking is available adjacent to the festival grounds.

The festival takes place at Hier’s Park and the Huntington County Fairgrounds, located at 547 S. Briant Street.

Shown in the photo is a visitor interacting with costumed demonstrators re-enacting life in the mid-1800s during the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival. This year’s festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday, September 23 and 24.