Dedication and ribbon cutting for the new sidewalk Pioneer Trail kicks off the seventh annual Fall Festival, Saturday, Oct. 4, at Pioneer Bluffs, north of Matfield Green in Chase County.
“On the National Register of Historic Places, Pioneer Bluffs is the original homestead of the Rogler Ranch, and now a nonprofit organization with a mission to respect the land, preserve history, and engage community,” according to Lynn Smith, executive director.
“The public is welcome to attend all of the activities free of charge throughout the afternoon, beginning at 1 o’clock,” Smith invited.
“Festival feature activities are to include music, horse-drawn carriage rides, old-time games, caricatures, a fleece-to-shawl demonstration, car show, kettle corn, historic performance, silent auction, arts and crafts fair, and much more for the entire family,” Smith said.
A Ranching Heritage Prairie Talk will be presented at 1:30, by Frank Buchman of Alta Vista, who will share his own ranching heritage, along with stories he has written about other cowboys. Buchman will have his Marvelous Mae there to provide free rides in an antique fringed-topped buggy from 3 to 4 o’clock.
An introduction to geocaching will be at 4 o’clock, taught by Wes Matson of Emporia. “Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using a GPS device. Participants should bring their GPS device, and they will learn how to navigate to a specific set of coordinates,” Smith informed.
Historic performances begin at 5 o’clock, featuring Billy Morgan portrayed by Tom Thompson, Strong City.
“Morgan is an important figure from Flint Hills history,” Smith related. “Mr. Morgan sold the Emporia Gazette to William Allen White and later founded the Hutchinson newspaper,” Smith said.
Thompson will be joined by other performers from the Pioneer Bluffs Historic Troupe, including Clara Jo Talkington, Matfield Green, who will portray Helen Rogler, and Peggy Stephenson, Cottonwood Falls, who will portray Maud Rogler.
Schedule: 2:30 p.m., Bluestem Swingers, square dance performers from Emporia;3:30, Flint Hills Balladeer Annie Wilson, along with Carl Reed;4:30, Zach Garland Foster and his father, Chris Foster, Liberty, Missouri, jazz standards, classics, and contemporary music;5:30, The Tom Page Trio from Wichita, eclectic originals with local themes; 6:30, Kelly Werts of Fairway, old-time folk songs with guitar accompaniment, and 7:30, , The Skirts from Chase County, Bluegrass music with rock and pop influences.“The music lineup throughout the afternoon and evening is always a popular part of the festival,” Smith said.
“A hog roast with locally grown and homemade foods will be served at 6 o’clock, and at dusk, a fireworks extravaganza will conclude the festivities,” Smith said.
“All performers and volunteers contribute their time and talent to this event, which benefits Pioneer Bluffs. There is no charge for this community celebration, but donations are greatly appreciated, and supper reservations are requested,” Smith clarified.
Pioneer Bluffs is located one mile north of Matfield Green, or 15 miles south of Cottonwood Falls on the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway K-177.