Chisholm Trail Comes To Life Again For Full Day Of Festivities Saturday At Abilene

Days of Longhorn steers slowly rambling into the railroad stockyards as dusty cowboys look toward the Alamo Saloon just a few yards off the Chisholm Trail will almost again come to life this weekend.

It’ll be just part of the 35th annual Chisholm Trail Day Festival activities at the Dickinson County Heritage Center, 412 South Campbell Street in Abilene, Saturday, Oct. 5, from 10 a.m., to 4 p.m.

Old time cowboy singer and storyteller David Zerfas from Manhattan, best known throughout the Midwest as Zerf, will be among the full slate of entertainment and daylong educational activities during the Chisholm Trail Day Festival, Saturday, Oct. 5, in Abilene.

“We have an entertaining and educational array of programs planned for everyone,” invited Jeff Sheets, official of the Dickinson County Historical Society, event sponsor.

Living history demonstrations throughout  the day are to highlight blacksmithing, bread making, cane squeezing, chair canning, cider pressing,  corn shelling and grinding, molasses cooking, spinning and weaving, rope making, saw mill operation, wheat weaving and wood carving.

“A highlight will be the Mud Creek Quilters’ demonstrations and displays inside the museum,” Sheets said.

Entertainment on the live stage begins at 10 o’clock, with the lineup to feature Dave “Zerf” Zerfas; Classic Heart, 11 a.m., and again 2 o’clock; Bill Burrows Highway 40 Band, noon and 3 o’clock; and Harold “Trail Song Willy” Williams, 1 o’clock.

Program for the history stage  features Williams, 10:30; Randy Schumock, at 11:30 and 2:30; Zerf, 12:30; and Wilma and Lori Howie, 1:30.

Registration for the antique farm show, featuring the John Deere M, will be from 8 to 10 o’clock, with exhibits, including stationary engines, opening to the public at that time. Special feature tractor will be a John Deere M,  owned by Dee Rodda.

“We’ll have tractor games at 11 o’clock, and the parade of power is set for 1 o’clock. There will be other antique farm machinery demonstrations throughout the day,” Sheets said.

A pedal power pull, for youth four to 12 years of age, is to begin at 10:30, with registration at 9 o’clock.

Kasey the Clown will also be roaming the grounds, the Dickinson County 4-H Ambassadors intends to have a petting zoo open, and other old time children’s games are planned throughout the day

An antique tractor pull, sponsored by the Heartland Pullers, begins at 2 p.m., with information available from Travis Kuntz at 785-263-5186.

Of course, the fully-restored steam-powered 1901 C.W. Parker Carousel merry go-round will be in operation. “The 1903 Wurlitzer Band Organ will entertain you as you ride the National Historic Landmark,” Sheets explained.

The Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad is powering up their National Historic Register 1919 Santa Fe 4-6-2 “Pacific” No. 3415 Steam Locomotive to relive the days of the steam-powered trains with runs from 10 a.m., to 3 p.m., on the hour.

Wild Bill Hickok will tame the streets in Old Abilene Town, and Can Can dancers are to perform in the Alamo Saloon at noon, and two times during the early afternoon. The Old Abilene Stagecoach is to be in operation.

Food booths are to be operated by the historical society, Amanda’s Bakery & Bistro and the Daycare Providers of Dickinson County.

“The Dickinson County Heritage Center consists of three separate museums including: the Historical Museum, the Museum of Independent Telephony, and the Outdoor Museum.   The Dickinson County Heritage Center also has an active research center with many local historical records and a gift shop,” Sheets pointed out.

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