Monday, October 29, 2007

Providence Prairie's Homeschool Family Pioneer Prairie Fest

Thursday saw loads of final preparation for our Prairie Fest. The day was spent painting, cutting, sewing, cleaning, organizing, preparing the barnyard and last minute prep. Rhonda spent much of her time making a stick-your-face-through-the-hole painting of a pioneer family. She is an excellent artist and did a superb job on this work of art.

Of course we had to try it out that evening!

The funny pictures soon followed!

Friday, much the same happened. Rhonda, Amanda, and Rachel worked and worked on sewing the last pieces on the bonnets of which there were eighty to ninety finished! Trey finished organizing the barnyard, while Rhonda painted a few last minute signs. Having rained off and on all day, we were hoping and praying for dry weather on the day of the event.
Bed felt good that night!

Saturday morning arrived with a beautiful sunrise! The weather was perfect and stayed that way all day long. Mark and Trey worked hard finalizing the barnyard preparations. After the games and decorations were put up, everything was in its place. Shortly before three o'clock we donned our pioneer outfits, and lit the kerosene lanterns that were hanging around the barnyard and up and down the lane.

Soon, the folks began to roll in.

After signing the guest book, each received a Scavenger Hunt bag and list to begin the fun!

People arrived from all over Southern Illinois- Chester, Marion, Thompsonville, Ellis Grove, Mt. Vernon, Centralia, Belle Rive, Harrisburg, and Hamilton County were all represented. We totalled over 100 that evening! We were thrilled with such a good turnout and so many in pioneer costume!

Pioneer games and activities galore were available for everyone to play, with such variety as Rolling the Hoop, the game of Graces,

Building a Split Rail Fence, Wheelbarrow Rides,

the Stick Pull, using the Cross Cut Two Man Saw,

and Jumping Rope,

just to name a few. What fun they were!

Sack races in the straw bale maze were eventually replaced with homemade fun of a different sort- developed by the children themselves!

Available close by was the Prairie Peddler Shop, (a horse trailer converted into a covered wagon) with Straw Hats, Bonnets, and the like available for purchase. Amanda performed a spinning demonstration at the front of the shop. Hay rides went on all evening long. Each one was packed to capacity.Trey took the participants on the historic Old Goshen Road. They even passed the place where Jessie James hid in a barn long since gone. What fun! As new rock was recently added to the driveway, the men obligingly got out and helped to push the fully loaded wagon up the hill. It just added to the enjoyment of it all!

The wiener roast was eagerly embraced by hungry guests, which was followed by singing and then a read-aloud of The Princess and the Kiss. Mark led us in prayer and devotion.

The crackling fire warmed us on the somewhat chilly night. The evening was complete after an old fashioned hoe-down with live music.

We had a splendid time, well spent with homeschoolers from all over Southern Illinois! The Pioneer Prairie Fest was a successful event, full of fun for everyone! It shall prove to be an annual event on Providence Prairie.

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