Special Events & Festivals

A good sound


Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Dan Balmer, center, was presented with the 2015 Arrowhead Award during the 40th annual Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 26. The honor was presented by Jeremy Garner (left), this year’s festival co-chair, and Mindy Rider (right), festival chair. The award is presented each year to someone who has made an important contribution to the festival’s success. Balmer, owner of D.B.

A visit with Lincoln


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Abraham Lincoln (right), as portrayed by Danny Russel, of Indianapolis, talks with (from left) Kim Hardacre, Royce Martinez, Bob Hardacre and Tarra Martinez, all of Huntington, at the 40th annual Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Huntingotn County Fairgrounds.

Best seat in the house


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Skyler Miller (right), 8, of Huntington, enjoys his perch on the seat of a 1934 John Deere Model A tractor, owned by Paul Kern, during the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Huntington County Fairgrounds. Miller is the son of Scott and Shannonn Miller.

Varsity Singers go 'old school" at Pioneer Festival


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Members of the Varsity Singers cut it up for the audience during the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Huntington County Fairgrounds.

Entertaining in the 'Antiques Barn'


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Darlene Hackett plays a hammer dulcimer in the "Antiques Barn" at the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Huntington County Fairgrounds.

 

Playing a gourd drum


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Allison Edmond (left), 7, of Wabash, plays a gourd drum along with accompaniment from Stephanie Shultz, of Huntington, who grew the gourd at her farm and made it into a drum, at the Forks of thae Wabash Pioneer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Huntington County fairgrounds.

Awaiting the fritters


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Jeff Brooks (right) scoops up fried apple fritters as (from left) Charles Douglass and his son, James, await the sweet treat during the 40th annual Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Huntington County Fairgrounds.

Mounted shooting demonstration


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Phil Kreider, of Huntington, participates in the mounted shooting demonstration at the 40th annual Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Huntington County Fairgrounds.

Starting the school day


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

"Schoolmarm" Heather Clampitt rings the bell at the pioneer schoolhouse to let children know it's time for school to start during the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Huntington County Fairgrounds.

Driving the team


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Wagonmaster Joe Eisenhauer, of Andrews, drives a team of Haflingers at the 40th annual Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Huntington County Fairgrounds.

Whipping up some corn fritters


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Mary Brooks whips up her corn fritters at the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Huntington County Fairgrounds.

Popcorn making the old-fashioned way


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Making popcorn at the Huntington University Track and Field "Karmel Korn" booth on Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival at the Huntington County Fairgrounds are (from left) Todd Schweyer, Brent Yager (mostly hidden) and Lance Tillman.

Real-life pastor playing the part of pioneer preacher for Sunday service

Pastor Conrad Thompson will take on the role of a pioneer preacher as he leads the Sunday morning worship service at the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival. The service on Sunday, Sept. 27, begins at 9 a.m. on the festival stage. Thompson is pastor of St. Paul’s County Line Church, which was founded in 1851.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

When Conrad Thompson steps up to the pulpit this Sunday morning, Sept. 27, he’ll be playing the part of a pioneer preacher — bringing a message that’s unchanged since those real pioneer preachers traveled the Hoosier state.

Thompson, pastor of St. Paul’s County Line Church, will preach at the Sunday morning worship service that has traditionally been a part of the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival.

Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival schedule of activities


Graphic provided.

Saturday, September 26

10:00 a.m.
Opening firearm salute by
1st U.S. Light Artillery, 1812, encampment

10:30 a.m.
Melodrama by Masque & Gavel, see map
Entertainment by Applejack Cloggers, stage
Sponsored by First Federal Savings Bank

10:45 a.m.
Pioneer school house, pioneer village

Forks of Wabash Pioneer Festival returns for 40th year this weekend

Jenny (left) and Lane Laffoon have been playing together for more than 30 years, making music as part of The Round-Town Ramblers and Shakin’ Hammers String Band before their current incarnation as the duo of Jenny Lane. They’ll bring their music, which reflects America’s cultural heritage, to the stage of the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 26, at 3 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 27, at 11:30 a.m.
Photo provided.

The Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival returns to Hier’s Park for its 40th year this Saturday and Sunday, 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.

Marketing his furs


Photo provided.

Randy Bellamy, in character as a French trader, displays some of his furs at the 2014 Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival, in Huntington. The festival, to be held this year on Sept. 26 and 27, celebrates Hoosier life in the mid-1800s, when French traders and white settlers mingled with Native Americans. It also celebrates pioneering spirits of a later time with displays of vintage bicycles, motorcars, tractors and engines. A complete schedule of this year’s festival activities is available online at www.pioneerfestival.org.

Local vintage base ball team to play several contests during Pioneer Fest


Photo provided.

The Champion Hill Toppers vintage base ball team will test its skills against “ballists” from Michigan and Ohio during a tournament to be held during the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival on Sept. 26 and 27.

The players recreate the game as it was in the mid-1850s, when the pastime was just becoming established in America. There are no gloves and the game is marked by gentlemanly sportsmanship that can extend to leading a cheer for the opposing team. The umpires may even ask the fans to help decide a close call.

Plot twist: Pioneer Festival melodrama gives audience a vote

In a melodrama, there’s never any doubt that the villain will eventually be derailed. That’s what happened in “Wait ’til the Sunshines, Nellie,” the show staged by the Huntington North High School Masque and Gavel Club during the 2014 Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival. Dustin Adamson (center) plays the hapless villain. Masque and Gavel returns to the Pioneer Festival this year with “Melodrama at Mayfair Meadows,” presenting 11 shows over the two days of the festival. The festival will be held Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 26 and 27, at Hier’s Park.
Photo provided.

Fair maidens, an oncoming train, an evil villain and a dramatic rescue — all to be expected in a melodrama.

But the melodrama presented at this year’s Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival has a twist — the audience will be asked to vote on who will be saved.

“Melodrama at Mayfair Meadows” is Ruth Reed’s creation, and will be acted out by her Masque and Gavel Club at Huntington North High School.

Arrowhead Award

Phyllis Renz (left) and Tina Bobilya (second from left), of the Huntington County Visitor and Convention Bureau, accept the 2014 Arrowhead Award from Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival Chairman Mindy Rider (third from left) and festival co-chairman Jeremy Garner (right). The award is presented each year to an individual or organization that plays a major role in making the festival a success. Festival organizers cited assistance from the Visitors Bureau in getting the word out about this festival, which this year drew a crowd estimated at 7,050 on Saturday and 6,300 on Sunday.

Mounted Regulators demo


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Chad Kreider shoots out a balllon while on horsebasck during a demonstration by the Indiana Mounted Regulators at the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 27, at Hier's Park.

Merry-go-round the old-fashioned way


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Riders get pushed around on the old-fshioned merry-go-round manned by Boy Scout Troop 637 of Huntington at the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 27, at Hier's Park.

Shelling corn

Landon Zezula uses an old-fashioned corn sheller to take the corn kernels off an ear of corn during the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 27, at Hier's Park.

Cooking lunch the old-fashioned way


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Tim Bickel, of Goshen, fries up some bacon the pioneer way on Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival at Hier's Park.

Candle dipping


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Ruby Mickley, 3, the daughter of Jason and Jill Mickley, of Fort Wayne, does some old-fashioned candle dipping at the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival at Hier's Park on Saturday, Sept. 27.

Blacksmith chores

Mark Thomas, of Markle, pounds out a piece of a "squirrel cooker" during a blacksmith demonstration at the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 27, at Hier's Park.

Kickin' it


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

The Applejack Cloggers kick it up during a performance on the stage at Hier's Park as part of the Forks of the Wabash Festival on Saturday, Sept. 27.

Horse-drawn wagon rides


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Joe Eisenhauer (left), of Eisenhauer's Little Bit Farm in Andrews, was providing horse-drawn wagon rides around Hier's Park on Saturday, Sept. 27, as part of the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival.

Invite public to pioneer-style worship at Pioneer Festival

Rev. Chris Hayden, pastor of Central Christian Church, will bring the message during an old-fashioned worship service on Sunday, Sept. 28, at the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival. The service begins at 9 a.m.
TAB file photo.

The public is invited to attend the non-denominational pioneer-style worship service that will be held as part of the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival on Sunday, Sept. 28, at Hier's Park.

The service will be led by Rev. Chris Hayden and the congregation of the Central Christian Church, Huntington. The 50-minute worship service will begin at 9 a.m. at the festival's "opera house saloon" and will feature old-fashioned preaching and with period music and hymns.

Indiana’s ‘pioneer spirit’ returns locally for 39th year

Alice Stickler (left) and Katie Blackard prepare for a butter churning demonstration during last year’s Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival. The festival returns to Hier’s Park this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27 and 28.
Photo provided.

The Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival returns for its 39th year this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27 and 28.

Over those two days, Festival Chairman Mindy Rider says, the spirit of mid-1800s Indiana will take over the festival grounds at Hier's Park, in Huntington.

New to the festival this year is a shooting demonstration by the Indiana Mounted Regulators, a cowboy group that picks off its targets while mounted on galloping horses.

Entertainment lineup for festival includes 13 acts

The Goldmine Pickers, featuring (from left) Lukas Simpson, Adam Carter and Sean Ellsworth-Hoffman, performs Sunday at 11 a.m. on the forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival stage. In all, 13 acts are scheduled on stage throughout the weekend.
Photo provided.

Thirteen musical groups will perform at the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival this weekend, with concerts scheduled hourly throughout the two days.

Strolling musicians will also wander the festival grounds throughout the weekend.

The festival will be held Saturday, Sept. 27, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Hier's Park, in Huntington. A non-denominational old-time worship service will be held on Sunday at 9 a.m.

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