The Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival returns to Hier’s Park, in Huntington, IN, for its 40th year on Sept. 26 and 27.
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, and Seven Year War Horse Tactical 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 base ball 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 buildings and several tents, and vittles are plentiful.
More information is available online at www.pioneerfestival.org.
Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 27. 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 5. Free parking is available adjacent to the park.
Hier’s Park is located at 547 S. Briant St., Huntington, IN.