Shawnee Indian Mission holds 28th annual festival this weekend with new attractions

Some happy festival-goers in 2013.
Some happy festival-goers in 2013.

The Shawnee Indian Mission will hold its 28th annual fall festival this weekend with many of the old favorites and some new attractions. The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the grounds of the state historic site both Saturday and Sunday with free admission.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum will be placing an Indian tipi at the festival site from its current exhibit: The Plains Indians- Artists of Earth and Sky. Other new additions include the Studebaker Club showing eight to 10 of their classic cars and answering questions about them. In addition, Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer gardening questions and showcase their vegetable and rain gardens on the site. They will have packets of seeds from the Shawnee Indian Mission Garden to give away.

The tipi from the Nelson-Atkins is 22 feet in diameter and 24 feet tall. It will be open from the public and scouts from Troop 192 will camp in the tipi Friday and Saturday nights. The museum will be giving away buffalo hide coloring blocks for children and sketch books of Kansas.

Living history demonstrations will be going on at the cabin with weavers, spinners and a blacksmith. Mountain men, archery, food booths, pony rides, handmade crafts for sale and Indian dancers also are part of the weekend event. Community square dancing is from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and a campfire, music and storytelling begin at 7 p.m. Saturday. The pumpkin patch will be selling pumpkins with a free jack-o-lantern template.

The Shawnee Indian Mission at 53rd and Mission in Fairway is a 12-acre site that was one of several missions established as a manual training school attended by children of the Shawnee, Delaware and other Indian nations from 1839 to 1862. It is one of 16 state historic sites operated by the Kansas Historical Society.