Wagons Ho!

These were the words that floated across the prairie as pioneers headed for fame and fortune and a new life in the American West.

Wagons Ho!

These were the words that floated across the prairie as pioneers headed for fame and fortune and a new life in the American West.

Those historic days, and the everyday life of the settlers who lived through them, will return as the George Washington Carver National Monument celebrates Prairie Day, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday, September 8.

George Carver, himself, was a prairie pioneer when he left the Ozarks seeking a new life on the Kansas prairie. He no doubt experienced many of the things that re-enactors will demonstrate tomorrow.

The entire event will feature people wool spinning, black smithing, candle dipping, hand washing, broom making, lye soap making, butter churning, woodworking, singing and playing musical instruments, telling stories, and giving wagon rides. New this year will be a cider press and a chuck wagon.

Many exhibitors will have booths which highlight the cultural and natural conservation efforts of the prairie. Exhibitors include GROW NATIVE, the Sherwood/Rader Farm, the Ozark Chinquapin Society, the Jolly Mill Park Foundation, as well as long-time exhibitors such as the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Neosho National Fish Hatchery.

One of the most popular events is the wagon rides where guests ride in a pioneer wagon and glide across the tallgrass prairie while an on-board storyteller tell about Carver's experiences on the land.

Music is always popular at Prairie Day, and this year musicians who come from far and wide will sing, plunk, strum, and fiddle starting at 10 a.m., with the last performance beginning at 2:40 p.m.

Several groups will be playing at the music tent on the main Monument grounds. These include Ripplin Creek, Lemuel Sheppard, Fiddle and Banjo, and Blackberry Winter Band.

Others will play at the historic Carver House, which sets on the Carver Trail, northwest of the visitor center. These include Ripplin Creek, Fiddle and Banjo, Corbin and McAlister Old Time Music, and Holmes Brigade Shirkers.

All events at Prairie Day are free of charge. Guests are invited to bring a picnic lunch or purchase their lunch from the Diamond Lions Club food booth.

Prairie Days is held in conjunction with the City of Diamond's Gem City Days,which will be celebrated that same day.

The Carver Monument is located two miles west of Diamond, MO on V Highway, then south about one mile on Carver Road.