Monday, July 25, 2011

Stepping Back into History

Through a reader I’ve corresponded with for several years who’s become a good friend, I’ve been invited to participate in a reenactment event. I’ve attended a number of reenactments as a spectator, but this will be my first foray into the reenactors’ world as a participant. I’m thrilled at the prospect of living in the period of my story to some degree, if only for a weekend.

The event is the Prairie Days Festival at Shawnee Prairie Preserve just outside of Greenville, Ohio. This is Darke County Park’s largest park, with about 2 1/4 miles of trails winding through a number of different ecosystems in the 118-acre park. According to the park’s website, archeological evidence confirms that at least a portion of the preserve was the site of a village founded by Tecumseh’s brother, Tenskwatawa, or the Prophet, where he rallied fifteen woodland Indian nations in response to the Treaty of Greene Ville in 1795.

Held annually the last full weekend of September, this event focuses on the prairie way of life from about 1780 to 1810 and features crafts, games, and trades of the period. I’ll not only be appearing in the persona of a writer of the time, with my books available for purchase, but I’ll also be helping to judge the pie baking contest. I’m particularly looking forward to that as pie is my favorite desert!

For the past week I’ve been busily putting together as authentic an ensemble as I can afford without actually sewing it myself. I’d love the challenge, but alas, I simply can’t cram another project into my already insane schedule. Modern life is just way too busy, and I’m sure you know all about that! So I’m purchasing all the accoutrements I need from several suppliers such as Jas. Townsend & Son and Burnley & Trowbridge. In my next post I’m going to share more details of my costume and some pictures as well.

Below are the dates and times for Prairie Days.

September 24 and 25, 2011
Hours: Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The preserve is located on State Hwy 502, just outside of Greenville, Ohio. A map is posted on their website. If you’re in the area, I hope to see you there!

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