ANDERSON — While national parks and wildlife refuges are being impacted by the federal government shutdown, state parks and reservoirs are still very much open for business as usual. Madison County’s own Mounds State Park hosts Pioneer Day tomorrow, taking a look back at life in the 1800s.
The historic Bronnenberg Home at the state park makes the perfect location to explore a variety of activities outside the home, and take tours inside. Events are planned from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
At 11 a.m., check out John Suko’s presentation on the role that stone tools have played throughout history. Throughout the day, he’ll be demonstrating the art of flint knapping.
At 1 p.m., Dustin Clark, assistant property manager at the park, will demonstrate Dutch oven cooking. He’ll share his favorite Dutch oven campfire recipes and tips. Throughout the event, kids will have fun exploring the kinds of chores pioneer farm children had to manage. They can help guest interpreter Dianna Priest mow the lawn and wash laundry — the old-fashioned way.
Youngsters can also participate in old-fashioned games, the kind that were popular over a hundred years ago, like graces, croquet and wooden stilts. Guest interpreter Kim Ousley will be crafting yarn dolls like pioneer kids would have done, too.
There will be a dress-up station where visitors can try on some pioneer-style fashion.
Look for the big kettle heating over the fire. That’s where they’ll be popping fresh batches of popcorn throughout the day. Visitors can also try their hand at making some fresh butter with guest interpreter Michaelene McWilliams.
Check out an 1880s Columbia High Wheeler, and other antique bicycles, on display from the collection of local bicycle aficionado Rex Upshaw.
Check in with guest interpreter Nancy Hulse to get in on the antique guessing game. Hulse will have antique household and farm tools on display, and visitors can try to figure out their true uses.
During Pioneer Day, Friends of Mounds State Park will have a booth with drinks and souvenirs for sale.
Pioneer Day is a free event, though normal park entrance fees of $5 per in-state vehicle and $7 per out-of-state vehicle apply.
Of course, there arte all kinds of others activities available at Mounds State Park. Check out the visitor center, hike the park, check out the historic mounds, spot wildlife and more.
Of course, there’s camping, too, at Mounds as well as at other Indiana State Parks. Those who want to stay overnight will probably need to do some planning. October is one of the most popular camping months of the year, with autumn- and Halloween-themed events happening at many state park properties.
Reservations can be made at camp.IN.gov or 1-866-6CAMPIN (1-866-622-6746). Information on state parks and reservoirs can be found at www.stateparks.IN.gov. Look for information on programs and special events at www.InterpretiveServices.IN.gov.
If you go What: Pioneer Day When: Saturday, Oct. 5, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Where: Mounds State Park, 4306 Mounds Road, Anderson More info: Call 649-8128