BRANDON, S.D. – Fiddlers, homestead living, pioneer farming,
Civil War soldiering, pioneer crafts and outdoor cooking will greet
visitors to Beaver Creek Nature Area near Brandon on Sunday, Sept.
From 1 to 4 p.m. CDT, the park will host the 33rd Annual
Homesteader Day Harvest Festival. The event attracts thousands of
visitors of all ages each year who want a taste of homestead life
and pioneer living history.
According to District Park Supervisor Marty DeWitt, the
afternoon’s activities showcase what life was like when the
prairies of Dakota Territory were being settled.
“At the Homesteader Day Harvest Festival, we give people a
chance to experience first-hand the sights, sounds and smells of a
time more than 100 years ago,” said DeWitt. “It’s gratifying to
watch young kids stare in amazement while older folks reminisce
about life when they were young.”
Visitors can watch teams of horses go about the tasks of
plowing, cultivating, seeding and harvesting the old-fashioned way.
Visitors can also take part in homestead crafts like candle and
rope making, Dutch oven cooking, and butter making. Other
demonstrations will include rosemaling, wood carving, chair caning
and pioneer games. “We will also have a blacksmith this year,”
The historic 1870s Samuelson homestead cabin will be open for
viewing, including a display of farming tools and cabin
furnishings. There will also be a traveling exhibit about Historic
Sites in South Dakota, made possible by the State Historical
Society. And all the while, the air will be filled with the sounds
of the South Dakota Old Time Fiddlers, who have been a part of the
event for its entire 33-year run.
Admission to the Homesteader Day Harvest Festival is free. The
event is made possible by the support of Siouxland Heritage
Museums, Mary Chilton DAR Foundation, South Dakota Department of
Game, Fish and Parks, and many dedicated volunteers.
Beaver Creek Nature Area is located southeast of Brandon,
one-half mile west of the intersection of 484th Avenue and 264th
Street. For more information, contact Palisades State Park at
605-594-3824. For more information on South Dakota State Parks,
visit www.gfp.sd.gov or call 605-773-3391.