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Cannons boom and wisps of smoke curl upward as a city park is transformed into a Hoosier settlement of the late 1800s. The occasion is the 28th annual Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival. To be held Saturday and Sunday, September 27 and 28, at Hier's Park on the south side of Huntington, Indiana. From Fort Wayne, take Highway 24 to Huntington and then follow the arrowhead signs.

Hours are 10am to 6pm Saturday and 9am to 5pm Sunday. Breakfast is served beginning at 7am Sunday with a worship service set for 8am. Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for students, and free for children under 5. Parking is free. Arrowhead signs along major routes will direct visitors to the festival grounds.

Re-enactors portraying fur traders, Miami Indians, white settlers, and military men will inhabit the grounds for the weekend. In the encampments, French voyageurs and military companies from the 1750s set up camp next to the western fur traders of the early 1830s. Woodland Indians erect their wigwams, and merchants set out their wares.

Across the way in Pioneer village, the early settlers tend their farms as they spin wool, churn butter, braid rugs, and go about the business of their daily lives. A rope maker, seamstress, and surgeon are among those setting up shop in olde towne, a thriving community of the early 1800s.

A farmers' market offers produce, dried flowers, honey and sorghum, and other goodies. The festival is sponsored by the Huntington County Junior Historical Society, Phi Chapter of Psi Iota Xi, and Friends of the Festival. Proceeds support local charities and historic preservation projects. For more information visit the web site at: pioneerfest.huntingtoncounty.org or call 1-800-848-4282.


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