GREENVILLE – Despite a slow start due to the weather, Prairie Days at Shawnee Prairie still had well over 4,000 visitors. According to Darke County Parks Executive Director Roger Van Frank, estimates ranged from 4,300 to 4,500.
“One family had 10 kids,” Van Frank said. “They were here all day. The sorghum press was a hit… We borrowed Ted Abney’s press; he even brought his horse to run it.”
He added Jim Poeppelman has also rebuilt a press and donated it to the Park District; they will have their own in the future.
“We were very blessed to have a good crowd,” Van Frank said. “We had well over 100 volunteers… volunteers and staff made this a success. We had new vendors, new games and activities… a lot of new faces.”
He commented on what he considered an interesting point. Noting all vendors were happy with the weekend, some did well on Saturday and others didn’t. On Sunday it was exactly the opposite. The ones who weren’t busy were and vice versa.
He added former interns came back for the event. “They’ve grown up, moved into other jobs but they came back to help.” He said the volunteers were from all walks of life… a Darke County Commissioner (Diane Delaplane), doctors, historical reenactors like John and Karen Burkett, retirees… also working were Sheriff’s Deputies and
Greenville Transit Service. “We have grown and continue to grow each year,” Van Frank continued. “Such a talented group of people.”
He added they also continue to have “a lot of folks bringing back some history to us.” They remember certain things, how they were done… and they talk about it.
“This is such a huge success story for the District and Darke County,” Van Frank said.
PHOTO CAPTION; A variety of activities and games were available to children and adults during Darke County Parks’ annual Prairie Days. (Bob Robinson photo)