The Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival made its return in 2021 on Saturday, Sept. 25, and Sunday, Sept. 26, offering participants food, entertainment, shopping and activities for all ages during the two days.
There are many people involved with the festival to make it run smoothly, but Pioneer Festival Co-Chairman Jennifer Scalf says that they give the Arrowhead Award every year to an individual, group or organization that “goes above and beyond to make our festival a success.”
Scalf, along with her Co-Chairman Lori Satchwill, presented the 2021 Arrowhead Award to Larry “Doc” Wiedman.
Wiedman has been involved with the Pioneer Festival since 1994. He and his wife started out as antique vendors. Eventually, Scalf says that Wiedman was “suckered into chairing antiques.” He also has demonstrated woodcarving in the Pioneer Village. He’s been woodcarving since 1980.
“He loves to interact with people when they stop to watch him do his woodcarving and strives to see a smile on their face,” Scalf said.
Wiedman currently serves as a co-chairman of the festival. Scalf says that, in this role, Wiedman “has helped strengthen many ties with local groups such as the libraries and Huntington University to get more involvement with the festival and for participants to learn about our Huntington heritage and authors.”
Outside of the festival, Wiedman has been a Marine Biologist and Geologist at the University of Saint Francis (USF) for over 25 years. He also directs the Environmental Science programs at USF.
“Even though he is semi-retired, he still leads students on field trips all over the United States, Bahamas and Costa Rica,” Scalf said.
Wiedman was one of the “original juried presenters” for the Inaugural Decatur (IN) Sculpture Tour. He has exhibited in the event and won a Juror’s Platinum Award in 2011. He has received Best of Show awards and three Best Class recognitions at the Arts Renaissance in Roanoke and has been an artist in residence at the Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site in Rome City. He is also part of the Roanoke Art Council, Little River Wetlands Project and Historic Forks of the Wabash.
Wiedman and his wife have been married for over 40 years and have two daughters and two grandchildren.
Scalf says that the Pioneer Festival “is very grateful to have a man who cares for his community” and that “his love for the festival” continues to “educate the people who come year after year.”