to showcase what life in the prairies was like for the early Dakota Territory settlers.
The event attracts thousands of visitors of all ages each year who want a taste of homestead life and pioneer living history.
“At the Homestead Day Harvest Festival, we give people a chance to experience first-hand the sights, sounds and smells of days gone by,” said District Park Supervisor Travis Theilen. “It’s gratifying to watch young kids stare in amazement while they listen to their grandparents reminisce about life when they were children.”
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, blacksmithing and pioneer games.
The historic 1870s Samuelson homestead cabin will be open for viewing where there will be a display of farming tools and cabin furnishings. 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 35-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.