DIAMOND — More than a 150 years ago, George Washington Carver grew up on a farm located on the Missouri prairie.

DIAMOND — More than a 150 years ago, George Washington Carver grew up on a farm located on the Missouri prairie.
Moses and Susan Carver, the couple who raised Carver, were pioneers so young Carver grew up familiar with both woods and prairie. On Saturday, the annual Prairie Day celebration was held at the George Washington Carver National Monument  near Diamond.
The event commemorates life on the Missouri prairies in the 19th century by bringing the past to life.
It's the largest special event of the year at the park and visitors were present in force.
Those who attended had the opportunity to listen to traditional music in the music tent, inside the Visitor's Center, at the Boy Carver statue and at the Moses Carver 1881 farmhouse. Groups that performed include Ripplin' Creek with traditional bluegrass, Fiddle and Banjo with traditional tunes, Snor T Horse with Ozark folk music, Paic Family Fiddlers, McAlister-Corbin Old Time Musicians, The Harry Vetch String Band, and the Holmes Bridge Minstrels, who entertained with Civl War era tunes.
Inside the Visitor Center on the lower level enjoyed two programs provided by Dee Ban's Teachable Music. One was focused on Missouri's History and the other on the American Civil War.
More than a 145 Volunteers in Parks (VIPS) participated in the event and their efforts brought the past to life through demonstrations including butter churning, laundry, candle dipping, weaving, wool spinning, lye soap making, basket weaving, blacksmithing and more.  
At the Carver House and at the pond, those in attendance could enjoy some of the old-fashioned activities including candle dipping or taking a turn at the washboard to experience laundry old school style.
Wagon rides offering rides through the prairie were among the most popular activities, especially for children. Each wagon had a storyteller on board to share tales of Carver's boyhood life.
Many groups had tables on the front lawn including representatives from both Wilson's Creek and Pea Ridge National Battlefields, the Missouri Archaeological Society, Tri-State Carvers Guild, Hill and HollowMaster Gardeners, the Neosho National Fish Hatchery, Missouri Department of Conversation, Missouri Southern State University, banjo builders and more.
There was a junior ranger station for children who wanted to work toward earning a Junior Ranger Badge.
Other activities included the opportunity to view a special traveling exhibit of National Parks in Quilts, displayed on the lower level of the Visitor's Center. The collection of 13 quilts were fashioned in 2015-2017 to commemorate the National Park Service's Centennial by Fiber Works, a group of textile arts based in the Lincoln-Omaha Nebraska area.
Food concessions were provided by the Diamond Lions Club.
Both the Volunteers in Parks and the Carver Birthplace Association received recognition in their role in making Prairie Day 2017 a success.
The Carver Birthplace Association exists to encourage the scientific, educational, and interpretative activities of the National Park Service at the George Washington Carver National Monument.
Upcoming events at the park include Carver laboratory demonstrations from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 16 at the Visitor Center, Epitaphs and Engravings at the Carver Family Cemetery on Saturday September 23 from 1 until 2 p.m. and Astronomy Day, scheduled for September 30 from10 a.m. until 3 p.m. with additional activities and the chance to view the stars beginning at 7:30 p.m.
The George Washing Carver National Monument is located at 5646 Carver Road near Diamond, Missouri.