Two days of festivities Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28 and 29, will mark the annual Harvest Homecoming Days at Capitol Reef National Park and will provide visitors with insights into rural and pioneer life.
Events will coincide with harvesting of the fall apple crop at the park, said William J. Pierce, acting superintendent.Harvest Days were initiated in the late 1980s by the park's historian and special events coordinator George Davidson. He said volunteers will be working to show the visiting public what pioneer life was like in and around the town of Fruita. The site of the former community is now the park's headquarters.
The coordinator said all events will be free. He encouraged educators to bring students to the events.
Davidson announced the schedule, along with volunteers who will be working to make Harvest Days a success:
Friday, Sept. 28 - 8 a.m., care, feeding and harnessing of draft horses at old barn, Gayle and Lowell Clark; 9 a.m., blacksmithing and horse-drawn equipment repair (all day) at Loop C area of campground, Steve Pratt and sons; 9:15 a.m., quilt making (all day) at visitor center, Barbara Pace, Bernice Baker and Lorea Hall;
10 a.m., tours at Old Fruita Schoolhouse until 3 p.m., Billie Bullard; 11 a.m., beekeeping demonstration for one hour at Loop C area, Mel Taylor, 2 p.m., cattle roping and branding for 45 minutes near the old barn, Keith and Golden Durfey; and 3 p.m., plowing and cultivation with horses near old barn, Gayle and Lowell Clark.
Saturday, Sept. 29 - 8:30 a.m., quilting demonstrations all day at visitor center; 9 a.m. until noon, "Pioneers' Morning" to include sorghum pressing and boiling to make syrup at Loop C, park staff; draft horse display and demonstration; ham smoking and mutton Dutch oven cooking, Eugene Blackburn; rug making, Winifred Peterson; wood carving, Emmett Clark; blacksmithing, Steve Pratt and sons; south-central Utah music, Poverty Bench Boys;
9:15 a.m., Southern Paiute Indian cultural demonstration until noon at the campground amphitheater, Rick and Rena Pikyavit and children; 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., tours at Old Fruit Schoolhouse, Billie Bullard.