OSKALOOSA — It’s now only t-minus eight days until the 54th Farm Fall Festival on Saturday, Sept. 21 at Nelson Pioneer Farm.

This year, the festival theme is 2019: Pioneer Spirit and Suffrage, in honor of the 100th anniversary of American women gaining the right to vote. Everyone is encouraged to join the parade, and Nelson Pioneer Farm Curator and Administrator Margaret Spiegel said girls and women’s groups are especially invited to join the celebration this year.

Spiegel said she is excited about the lineup of events that comprise her second fall festival at the farm.

“I’m very excited about the activities we have to offer this year and the theme that we will be promoting. I hope as many families as possible can plan to visit us this year,” she said. “We have some new sponsors added because of our new historic building sponsorship program.”

The festival offers a unique opportunity for visitors to have fun and learn about the rich history of the area.

“There are activities for everyone,” Spiegel said, “including a parade, crafts, pony rides, hymn sings, oat threshing demonstrations with antique equipment and a sawmill demonstration. We encourage families to buy a membership ahead of the fall festival, because the membership practically pays for itself by attending a couple events between August and now, and it’s a better value for the money.”

The time of the parade has been moved up to 1:30 p.m. this year. Steel wheel tractors, along with other tractors from Pella’s Red Rock Threshers will appear in the parade.

A pioneer picnic will be from 11:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bradbury Hall. This year’s food menu also includes beef & noodles and cornbread, along with hot dogs, pies, and ice cream.

Music will be provided by Alice’s Gospel Group, now in their 10th year participating. There will also be a hymn sing in the Coal Creek Meeting House.

Spiegel also said a memorization exercise will be held at the one-room schoolhouse, and an art installation will also debut at this year’s event, including a life-sized uplifting puppetry exhibit.

A guest author from Ottumwa, Rachelle Chase, will make an appearance in the Buxton House to showcase her book Creating the Black Utopia of Buxton, Iowa.

The annual sawmill demonstration scheduled for 3 p.m. will be in honor of a dedicated volunteer named Leland Fynaardt, who had given his time in dedicated volunteer service for at least the past decade.

Call Director/Curator Margaret at 641-672-2989 for questions or more information.

More information is also available at http://www.nelsonpioneer.org/

Edited to reflect correct time for lunch.

Richard Rindt can be reached at rrindt@oskyherald.com

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