by Laura (Abernathy) Huffman
Population 91 will be hitting the highways and back roads of the Ozarks and Missouri in 2017 to bring you stories of unique festivals, forgotten histories, one of a kind museums, and Mother Nature’s scenic wonders. Here are our most anticipated events for the next year:
49th Annual Dogwood-Azalea Festival
April 20-23, 2017
Charleston, Mississippi County, Missouri
Fodor’s Travel listed this festival as one of “America’s Best Spring Flower Festivals” and described it as a “colorful insight into the locally-proclaimed ‘history, hospitality, and tradition’ of Charleston, Missouri.” This year’s theme is “Welcome to the Bloom Factory” which is an apt description of the town’s 6 mile Dogwood-Azalea Trail. At the festival we will be exploring the Joseph Hunter Moore Home and St. Henry Church, admiring the handiwork of the quilters at the Quilt Show, cheering on a parade, and clopping down the tree lined streets in a horse-drawn carriage. We will also “saunter along the sidewalk betwixt the lambent luminarias” during the candlelight tour.
Holy Trinity of Conservation
June 2 & 3, 2017
Prairie Star Restoration Farm
Bland, Osage County, Missouri
Bruce & Jan Sassman of Prairie Star Restoration Farm have put together an event for the ages that we are extremely excited for! Holy Trinity of Conservation brings three legends of conservation, John Muir, Aldo Leopold, and Henry David Thoreau, back to life during this two part event. The notables are accurately portrayed by living historians/re-enactors Lee Stetson, Jim Pfitzer, and Richard Smith. All three will gather around the campfire for an intimate evening dinner Friday. Saturday’s trifecta of events at the Main Tent will include three presentations: “What I Lived For” by Smith as Thoreau, “A Stroll with John Muir” featuring Stetson as Muir, and “Aldo Leopold-A Standard of Change” with Pfitzer as Leopold. In addition to the presentations a self-guided walking tour will take you to replica shelters for each of the three men. The Sassmans’ attention to detail is evident in each of the recreated shelters and will make any conservation-minded photographer’s heart sing. Holy Trinity of Conservation is a must for nature lovers of all ages.
Battle of Pilot Knob
September 23-24, 2017
Ironton, Iron County, Missouri
Once every three years the Civil War’s Battle of Pilot Knob breaks out again in the form of a full scale re-enactment and “tens of thousands” flock to the Ironton area to watch history unfold before their eyes. Fingers crossed, we will be able to find lodging in Missouri’s beautiful Arcadia Valley to be closer to the action. Otherwise, we will be happy to make our headquarters in Farmington again. Either way, it’s Pilot Knob or bust for Population 91 in 2017.
UPDATE: We just confirmed our reservation with Ruth Turner of Plain & Fancy Bed and Breakfast in Ironton. The Amish Room will be the perfect place to hang our hats for the battle re-enactment. With any luck we will have time to add a horseback ride to our plans for the weekend!
That isn’t all that we have planned though. We are also looking forward to Spring MVOR (a National Speleological Society affiliated caving event) at Boiling Springs Resort near Licking (Missouri) in April, an Osage County (Missouri) exploration trip, a Bollinger County (Missouri) discovery trip, Old Settlers Day & Civil War Battle Re-enactment in Waynesville (Missouri) in July, both the Missouri State Fair and Solar Eclipse in August, and the Annual Fete de l’Automne at Old Mines (Missouri) in October.
We are also looking at hosting a few small events of our own in 2017. Stay tuned for details on Tombstone Tale Tours presented by Population 91 & Roubidoux Case Research in Pulaski and Phelps County throughout the year.
Know of a great event or historic location that Population 91 should visit in your neck of the woods? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!