Old Settlers Day 2016 in Waynesville, Missouri, is shaping up to be the most exciting family friendly festival in Central Missouri.
The 36-year-old event is returning to its roots; activities are scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday, July 30-31, allowing festivalgoers to immerse themselves in a weekend of living history.
One of the most anticipated additions to the schedule of events is the first ever Civil War battle reenactments. The 8th Missouri State Militia Cavalry Reenactors, and their comrades, take their roles as living historians very seriously. Attendees will be able to visit and interact with their historically accurate Civil War campsites along the Roubidoux River in Waynesville City Park.
At General U.S. Grant’s headquarters, Wayne Issleb will be appearing as the Union Commander. Grant’s telegraph is sure to be a crowd pleaser. United States President Abraham Lincoln (as portrayed by Lance V. Mack) and Confederate President Jefferson Davis (as portrayed by Don Belles) will be in attendance.
Kickapoo Trace Muzzleloaders will carry on their tradition of rendezvousing on the banks of the Roubidoux River during Old Settlers Day weekend. Their pre-1840s encampment will carry festivalgoers back to the days of the Mountain Man and the Ozarks’ earliest settlers.
Additionally, the festival will include Cavalry and Infantry drill demonstrations, weapons and artillery inspections, period dance and music, a period Church service, unique food vendors and shopping opportunities. Reenactment camps will be open for the public to visit, explore and tour at specified times.
Scheduled appearances include The Back Porch Players (specializing in Civil War Era music), Beyond The Circle Dancers (sharing Native American culture through song and dance), Flower O’Scotland Dance Troupe (celebrating their Scottish roots through dance) and Waynesville alumni, Connor Howley, a Celtic musician.
The Old Stagecoach Stop Museum and the 1903 Route 66 Courthouse Museum, both on the historic downtown square, will be open to visitors Saturday, July 30. Admission to both locations is free, although donations are appreciated.
While exploring Old Settlers Day, festivalgoers should plan to visit nearby Roubidoux Spring Cherokee Campsite at Laughlin Park. During the 1838-39 Trail of Tears, thousands of Cherokees traveling along the Northern Route camped in the large field located south of Roubidoux Spring. Visitors can walk to the historic crossing at Roubidoux Creek and discover a hidden history along the route with seven wayside exhibits.
Plan now to immerse yourself in a weekend filled with living history!
To learn more about Pulaski County events, attractions, dining, and lodging visit PulaskiCountyUSA.com.
Written by Laura Huffman from the Pulaski County Tourism Bureau.