Special Events & Festivals

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.