Special Events & Festivals

Award-winning photographers


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

The winners of the 2017 Historic Photo Contest, Bryan Ballinger (second from left) and Jeanne Hastings (third from left), receive their awards Saturday, Sept. 23, during the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival. Ballinger won first place in the physical environment category, and took both first and second places in the social environment category. Hastings won second place in the physical environment category.

Huntington Optimist Club earns Pioneer Festival committee accolade

Members of the Huntington Optimist Club accept the 2017 Arrowhead Award Saturday, Sept. 23, from the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival Committee during a ceremony held at the festival. Celebrating the occasion are (from left) Rachelle Nightenhelser, festival co-chair; Optimist Club members Midge Decker, Jamie Groves, Paula Whiting and Jim Wilson; and Bonita Price, festival co-chair.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

The Arrowhead Award, presented by the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival committee to someone who has demonstrated its dedication to the community and faithfulness to the annual festival, was given this year to not just one person, but to the 50 or more people who make up the Huntington Optimist Club.

The award was presented to four members representing the club in a ceremony at the Pioneer Festival Saturday, Sept. 23.

Ballinger dominates in History in the Making Photo Contest

Bryan Ballinger’s photo of a flooded field surrounding a rural Huntington home in 2015 won first place in the physical environment category of the History in the Making Photo Contest, which was a part of the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival. The winners were announced Saturday, Sept. 23.
Photo by Bryan Balllinger.

Bryan Ballinger earned three of the four awards in the 2017 History in the Making Photo Contest, with Jeanne Hastings claiming the fourth award.

The contest, held in conjunction with the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival, was sponsored by the Huntington County Historical Museum and the Huntington County TAB. Photographers could enter pictures taken over the past five years and depicting people and places in Huntington County.

Social environment winner


Photo by Bryan Balllinger.

Bryan Ballinger’s photo of Betsy Ballinger walking down Salamonie Road took first place in the social environment category of the History in the Making Photo Contest, which was a part of the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival. Winners were announced this past Saturday, Sept. 23.

Strolling musicians


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Lisa (left) and Mark Woolever sing as they stroll through the encampment area at the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 23, at the Huntington County Fairgrounds. The festival continues today, Sunday, Sept. 24, through 5 p.m.

Mounted shooting demonstration


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Keturah Hyde, of Huntington, was part of a mounted shooting demonstration at the encampment at the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 23, at the Huntingotn County Fairgrounds. The festival continues today, Sunday, Sept. 24, through 5 p.m.

Llama feeder?


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Ella McDaniel, 10, of Huntington, attemps to feed a llama at the  Hoosier Camel Encounter petting zoo at the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival at the Huntington County Fairgrounds on Saturday, Sept. 23.

Seeking a certain keychain


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

The Merriman family from Wort Wayne -- (from left) Shannon, Jody and Jordan -- look for a special Boy Scout Logo keychain in the Men's Market at the annual Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival at the Huntington County Fairgrounds on Saturday, Sept. 23. The festival continues today until 5 p.m.

Finding a treasure


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Molly Woods (left) and Arren Reust, both of North Manchester, search through a box of old patches they discovered in the antiques area of the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 23.

Hero defeats villain again as HNHS Masque and Gavel returns to Forks

Jackson Lunsford (center) delivers a newly-discovered treasure that will save the Pureheart family from being tossed out in the cold by a wicked landlord. Rejoicing in the find are (from left) Alexis Keplar, Claire Driscoll, Angus Jones and Kiana Kistler. The scene is from “Polly Pureheart Prevails,” to be presented throughout the weekend during the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival this Saturday and Sunday.
Photo provided.

Every year, the evil villain seems certain to be victorious.

And every year, the hero overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to save the day.

It’s a theme that never changes — although the twists and turns from beginning to end take a different route each time.

This weekend, “Polly Pureheart Prevails” as the Huntington North High School Masque and Gavel returns to the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival.

2017 Pioneer Festival Schedule of Events

Saturday, September 23

10 :00 a.m. Festival opens
Opening firearm salute by 1st U.S. Light Artillery, 1812
Musical entertainment by Bob Hart Dulcimers, stage
Sponsored by Sportsmobile North
Melodrama by Masque & Gavel, opera house

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

Well-traveled Munson to be following in the footsteps of early women preachers at festival

Elder Carrie Munson, a traveling preacher who’s been filling in at Huntington’s First Presbyterian Church for the past year, will be following in the footsteps of early women preachers when she delivers the message during the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival worship service on Sunday, Sept. 24.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Carrie Munson likes being on the move.

Maybe it’s in her genes.

Her great-great-grandparents immigrated from Germany in the mid-1800s, crossing the country in a Conestoga wagon on their way to homesteading in Nebraska.

“So I kind of have that pioneering spirit,” Munson says.

Munson was born in New York and lived in Illinois and Wisconsin before making her way to Indiana. She now lives near Logansport, but can legitimately claim a large chunk of northern Indiana as her home base.

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.

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.

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