Special Events & Festivals

Arrowhead honor


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Jennifer Scalf (center) holds the framed 2016 Arrowhead Award, presented by Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival chair Bonita Price (left) and co-chair Rachelle Nightenhelser on Saturday, Sept. 24, honoring Scalf for her many years of service as a chairman and volunteer at the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival. Scalf become involved with the festival as a child, assisting her mother, who continues to serve on the steering committee. Now, Scalf’s husband and children are also involved in the festival.

Arrowhead honor


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Jennifer Scalf (center) holds the framed 2016 Arrowhead Award, presented by Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival chair Bonita Price (left) and co-chair Rachelle Nightenhelser on Saturday, Sept. 24, honoring Scalf for her many years of service as a chairman and volunteer at the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival. Scalf become involved with the festival as a child, assisting her mother, who continues to serve on the steering committee. Now, Scalf’s husband and children are also involved in the festival.

Helping out the musicians


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Lisa Woolever, one of the strolling musicians in the Old Towne area at the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 24, gets some help on a song from (from left) Ariah Brown, Kennedy Lynem and Promise Fomby, all of Indianapolis.

Photo contest winner


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Denise, Harrell, of Huntington, holds the plaque she received for winning the social environment category of the Pioneer Festival Historical Photo Contest on Saturday, Sept. 24. The Huntington County Historical Society and The Huntington County TAB co-sponsored the contest.

That's entertainment


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Singer Ivory West entertains on the stage at the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 24. Various entertainers performed throughout the two days of the festival.

The president entertains


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Danny Russel (right) as President Abraham Lincoln, regales the children with some tall tales from his boyhoood at the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Fesitval on Saturday, Sept. 24, at Hier's Park and the Huntington County Fairgrounds.

Tense scene


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Robert Borland (left), playing Lawyer Slippery, acts out a scene with Kaley Koedel, as Angel Innocent, during the Masque and
Gavel melodrama performed at the Forks of the Wabash PIoneer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 24, at Hier's Park and the Huntington County Fairgrounds.

Pioneer music


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Bob Hart plays the hammered dulcimer on the stage at the Huntington County Fairgrounds during the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 24.

Pioneer transportation


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Joe Eisenhauer, of Andrews, drives a wagon while Emily Freise rides shotgun at the Forks of the Wabash PIoneer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 24, at Hier's Park and the Huntington County Fairgrounds.

Invite public to pioneer-style worship service

Rev. John Ritchie, pictured in the sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church, will lead a non-denominational worship service on Sunday, Sept. 25, at the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

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. 25, at Hier’s Park.

The service will be led by Rev. John Ritchie and the congregation of the First Presbyterian Church, of Huntington. The 50-minute worship service will begin at 9 a.m. at the festival’s “Saloon” and will feature an  old-fashioned sermon by Ritchie and period music and hymns led by Stephanie Shultz. There will be no services at the home church this Sunday.

Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival schedule of activities


Graphic provided

Saturday, September 24

10:00 a.m.
Opening firearm salute by1st U.S. Light Artillery, 1812, encampment

10:30 a.m.
Musical entertainment by Bob Hart, stage
Sponsored by Mike’s Car Care Center Inc.
Melodrama by Masque & Gavel, opera house

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

Throwback weekend as Pioneer Festival returns for 41st year

A shot from a three-pounder light artillery cannon announces the opening of the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival in 2015. Members of the 1st U.S. Light Artillery of Huntington, Doug Pressler (front) and Ken Bloom (in back mostly hidden), stand by as Jed Vaccaro (right) lights the fuse. The cannon will return to open this year’s festival, set for Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24 and 25, at Hier’s Park and the Huntington County Fairgrounds.
TAB file photo.

It will be a throwback weekend at the 41st annual Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival, as Huntington County’s history and “the way it used to be done” in the early- to mid-1800s takes over Hier’s Park and the Huntington County Fairgrounds.

Vintage tractors, bikes at Pioneer Festival to hit streets on Friday prior to main event

The vintage tractors and bicycles on display at the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival Sept. 24 and 25 will take to the streets during and just prior to the festival.

Fans of the old-time machines are invited to see them in action and, in the case of the tractors, get an up-close look in advance of the festival.

Two antique tractor drives will take place on Friday, Sept. 23. Both start and end at the festival grounds at Hier’s Park and the Huntington County Fairgrounds.

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 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.

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