The park held its annual Prairie Day celebration on Saturday, September 8th. The annual event provided opportunities for area residents to learn more about the heritage of southwest Missouri, especially during George Washington Carver’s childhood years.
Strong thunderstorms and straight-line winds moved through the park late Friday afternoon, but the maintenance staff quickly cleared downed trees and reset tents. A beautiful Saturday dawned and nearly 2,000 visitors poured through the front gates to visit their local national park for the popular event.
Slavery and the Civil War and the impact on Carver’s life were presented in storytelling, music, and exhibits. Demonstrations of everyday skills included quilting, spinning and weaving, lye soap making and laundering, gardening and food preservation, uses of medicinal plants, and blacksmithing.
Natural environment displays included a bison exhibit, prairie animals and birds, fire and prairie ecology, and aquatic life. Entertainment featured toys and games, cornhusk dolls, storytelling, traditional music from the era, banjo-building, and horse-drawn wagon rides across tallgrass prairie.
Through interpretive programs, exhibits, and storytelling, Prairie Day addressed “Call to Action” item three, “History Lesson.”
Prairie Day was made possible by the Carver Birthplace Association and over 125 VIPs.
Established in 1943, George Washington Carver National Monument preserves the birthplace and childhood home of the famed scientist, educator, and humanitarian.