The recently formed non-profit organization Ozark Heritage Project, in conjunction with the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, will again bring the past to life during the “Haunting in the Hills” event Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12, and Sunday, Oct. 13, at Alley Spring west of Eminence.
The annual free event features folkway demonstrations, re-enactments, hands-on activities, food vendors and traditional dancing, folk and bluegrass music.
Local skilled crafts people will demonstrate from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Sunday. Demonstrations will include basket weaving, spinning, woodcarving, blacksmithing along with the making of household staples such as soap, candles, rope, cornmeal and apple butter. The Ozark Long Rifle Association will be setting up their Fur Trading Rendezvous Camp, and will be joined by an authentic river camp courtesy of Blazer Boats of Ellington.
OHP President and co-founder Lindsey Purcell is excited about some of the organization’s additions. “We will have a brush arbor to celebrate the rich Christian heritage of the Ozarks, along with an expanded children’s section featuring games and crafts. We hope to inspire them to learn more about our local culture.”
Visitors to the Alley Springs Park will enter a time line beginning with the Indian presence that began around the bountiful Ozarks spring, and will take visitors through the pioneer era, the Civil War and ultimately past the traditions of the early 20th century. Additions also include a slave presence in recognition of the African-American influence, though slavery was more common lower down the river.
Music will be provided by the folk group, Faretheewells, and bluegrass and gospel group, Friends Pickin’. Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. a very different setting emerges as the night’s darkness descends on the park during “Tales from Ozarks’ Dark Side.” Illuminated pathways will guide the way through Ozark legends, folktales, mysteries, superstitions and natural wonders for spell-binding, age-old storytelling. Visitors are encouraged to bring along flashlights. Tales and legends include:
•Ozark Tales and Superstitions
•Search for the Ozark Karkaghne Monster: A Hike to Find the Lurking Beast
•Struggles of the Civil War: One Woman’s True Story
•The Wreck of the Spur Line
•The Legend of the Slater Mine
Alley Springs is six miles west of Eminence on Highway 106. For more information, call 573-663-2269 or visit www.ozarkheritageproject.org