The Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival will return to Huntington this month for its 45th year, filling the Huntington County Fairgrounds and adjacent Hier’s Park with the sights, sounds and smells of a bygone era.
The festival is set for Saturday, Sept. 25, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Costumed re-enactors demonstrate the everyday skills of the era while the 1st U.S. Light Artillery 1812 engages in military drills and riders on horseback exhibit their sharpshooting skills.
Children can learn their lessons in a pioneer schoolhouse and try their hands at a variety of games. Abe Lincoln will offer his perspective on the times.
The weekend also pays tribute to the new ideas of slightly later times with displays of antique motorcars, vintage bicycles and time-worn tractors and early engines.
Crafts and antiques fill two large buildings and vittles are plentiful. The festival stage features a full slate of entertainment both days.
New attractions this year include a Saturday appearance by Bluffton resident Kayleen Reusser, author of nine books based on interviews with World War II veterans. Her latest book is “Battle of the Bulge: Stories From Those Who Fought and Survived.” She will be part of the Huntington City-Township Public Library’s Hoosier Authors Showcase.
Festival visitors can test their skills at ax throwing, a new event sponsored by Bethel Assembly of God.
Prior to the festival opening on Sunday, Mike Pieart, of Bethel Assembly of God, will lead a nondenominational old-time worship service. The service is open to the public.
There is an admission fee per adult. Students of any age receive an entry discount and children under 5-years-old receive free admission. Free parking is available adjacent to the festival grounds.
The fairgrounds are located at 631 E. Taylor St., Huntington. Sponsors are Phi Chapter of Psi Iota Xi and Friends of the Festival. Proceeds support a host of community programs.
The festival will adhere to all local Health Department requirements in effect at that time. Festival updates may be found on the Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival Facebook page or the festival website at pioneerfestival.org.