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Trail Center celebrates 10th anniversary
BAKER CITY The clock is ticking down on the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center's 10th anniversary celebration.
The biggest and splashiest events are set for the Memorial Day weekend, May 24 through 26. But a healthy number of events are planned for the week before as the Center gears up for its largest celebration since it was founded in 1992.
At 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 13, Larry Ridenhour will again present his "Rapturous Raptors" program. Ridenhour, a naturalist with the Snake River Birds of Prey Natural Conservation Area, will bring his birds with him and lead an exploration into the world of raptors.
"From the Skin Out," a program that demonstrates the clothing of the mid-19th Century, will be offered at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 19. The program is offered by NHOTIC interpretive specialist Nancy Harms.
Bill Glenn, himself a former surveyor, will present his "Through a Surveyor's Sight" talk and demonstration at 10:30 a.m and 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, and again at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 22.
Then at 10 a.m. and at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 23, Los Angeles resident Daniel Slosberg will revive his role as Pierre Cruzatte, the fiddler and navigator on the Lewis and Clark expedition. Slosberg mixes stories of Cruzatte's exploits with period music and songs on fiddle, jaw harp, bones and spoons.
The 10th anniversary celebration weekend will get started Friday, May 24, with a "Festival for Young 'Uns." The festival, set for 9 a.m. through noon, is offered for Baker County fourth graders those children who, like the Center itself, turned 10 years old in 2002.
On Saturday, May 25, Slosberg will offer a Cruzatte encore at 9:30 a.m. in the Leo Adler Theater.
Young fiddlers will play at 10:05 a.m. Saturday at the outdoor amphitheater.
Then, at 10:20 a.m., the official rededication program will begin in the outdoor amphitheater. First will be a presentation of arms, followed by speeches by President Thomas Jefferson (historic re-enactor Doug Copsey, who will return during the summer months) and President John Tyler (re-enactor Stitch Marker, who portrays the man who was president in 1843, when Oregon Trail emigration began in earnest but without the president's support).
The wagon encampment is set to circle up from 12:30 p.m. through 2 p.m., during which time lunch will be served to the first 750 attendees.
Five more programs will round out the first day of the 10th anniversary celebration Saturday. "Strings Attached," a musical foursome, will perform at 1 p.m. The Generation Dance Troupe, which performs American Indian dances, will offer a performance at 1:30 p.m.
"Fanny," which illustrates the courage, endurance and heartbreak faced by women on the Trail, will be performed at 2:45 p.m. at the outdoor amphitheater. The performer is Joyce Hunsaker.
Harms will offer her "Quilt of Life" tales of the trail experience at 4 p.m. in the outdoor amphitheater. The stories, culled from diaries and letters, are hopeful and sad, poignant and hilarious.
The final event for Saturday is dancing at the wagon encampment. Those festivities will commence at 5 p.m.
Programs on Sunday include "Spinnin' Wheels," a slide show and living history about three Oregon Trail women and their experiences before and after the trek west. Harms will present "Spinnin' Wheels" at 11 a.m.
Cruzatte will be reprised at noon, and Strings Attached will play again at 1:15 p.m.
A program called "Hattie" is set for 2:30 p.m.. That will be followed at 3:45 p.m. by "Pioneer Portrayals," views of the Trail experience offered by John and Marian Brown and Irv Mahugh.
The wagon trail is scheduled to arrive at the Center Sunday afternoon. At 5 p.m., wagon train activities including dinner, dancing and fun are set.
All activities May 24 through 26 are offered free of charge.
For more information, call the Center at 523-1843, or visit this website: www.or.blm.gov/NHOTIC.