Heritage Days Organizers Ready For Record Crowd

Anita Campbell
County Reporter
Thousands of visitors are expected in the area October 20-21 to attend the Thirty-eighth Pioneer Heritage Days celebration at the Truman Dam Visitors’ Center on Kaysinger Bluff and the Heritage Days Craft Show on Drake Harbor.  Since 1981, Warsaw Pioneer Heritage Days has drawn over 7,000 people to its Mountain Man Camp, Pioneer exhibitors, and more.
The KBPHA presents a living history experience through the demonstration of the 18th through the 20th century crafts, trades, and lifestyles of the early pioneers. 
At Harry S. Truman Visitors’ Center and throughout the wooded trails of Kaysinger Bluff, visitors will explore the Hooper House, the Concord School House, an 1850's pioneer homestead and discover which dwelling once housed Frank and Jesse James for a night.
Admission to the historical area around the Overlook is $7 for adults, $4 for ages 6-12 .  Children 5 and under are admitted free of charge.  Those who pay for their admission on Saturday can use their pass on Sunday as well.  Buses will transport guests to Kaysinger Bluff (pioneer demonstrations and crafts) and to Drake Harbor (modern crafts). 
Warsaw Chamber of Commerce Director Mac Vorce is geared up for the annual celebration. “I am so impressed by the amount of community involvement that goes into presenting Heritage Days,” Vorce said.  “The Kaysinger Bluff Pioneer Heritage Association (KBPHA) works year round for this event by working on the upkeep of the bluff area and contacting people to display their talents.”
Vorce went on to say that it truly is a combined effort between the KBPHA, the City of Warsaw, the United States Corps of Engineers, and the Chamber of Commerce to prepare for the two day event.
Many of the Heritage Day favorites are returning to perform such as Clint Winn as Jim Bridger on Saturday and Sam Houston on Sunday.  Robert Keeton, the Cowboy poet, is also returning to the Bluff.
On Sunday Missouri Representative Warren Love will deliver a Sunday sermon as an old time Circuit Rider.  Also on Sunday Clint Winn will deliver performances as historic figures.
Other special attractions will include demonstrations of pioneer lifestyle such as finger weaving and tatting, treadle sewing, rope making, leatherworks, antique loom weaving, broom making, knife making, spinning, weaving, dyeing yarn, stone carving and wood carving.
There will also be lots of delicious food such as kettle corn, biscuits and gravy, chuckwagon chili, homemade apple butter, bread, cookies and much more.
Visitors can also try their skills at the tomahawk throw.
According to Vorce there is still opportunities to volunteer.  “We always can use more volunteers,” Vorce said.  “We are adding more carts to help those who need assistance so we could use more drivers.  You don’t have to work all day.  We have four hour shifts set up for those who would be willing to drive our visitors up and down the hill at the Harbor.  We also could use some more tent captains.”
Visitors can catch the bus to Downtown Warsaw to experience the quaint shops, unique restaurants and enjoy the local musicians at Drake Harbor’s amphitheater.
A new event in the Harbor this year is an Outdoor Adventure Expo and the Bow Hunters Challenge Bow Shoot.
Shooters will take aim at 20 different targets.  There will even be a shoot out of the Anglers’ Port Bow Fishing Boats, trying to hit the alligator target.
Hunting with Harry will sponsor the Bow Hunters Challenge I conjunction with the Warsaw High School Archery Club.  Competitive categories are Men’s Women’s and Youth.  Cost is $10.  Awards and prizes will be presented to winners.
Saturday registration begins at 7 AM.  Last call is 2 PM.  Awards will be at 4 PM.  Location of the Bow Hunter’s Challenge Archery Shoot is just past craft tents by the horseshoe pits.
The Warsaw Chamber of Commerce sponsors over 200 modern day crafters.  This year there will also be an area for those involved in direct sales on the Harbor  as well.
Some of the new vendors in the direct sales area will include:  Dan’s RV, Angler’s Port Marina, Yeager Motorcycle, Everhart’s Sporting Goods, Fishing Guide services, Triple Threat Custom Catfish Fishing Rods, and Truman Lake Marine.
“We are trying to add something new so we will attract a new group,” said Vorce. “Husbands can’t complain that there isn’t anything special for them on the Harbor.”
Other vendors include:  Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Lularoe, Organie Owl, Young Living Essential Oils, and  Scency.
“We will have 76 different communities represented on the Harbor,” said Vorce.  “Of those 30 or more are local people, I am so glad to see the community becoming even more involved.”
For additional information, contact the Warsaw Chamber of Commerce at warsawcc@embarqmail.com.  Handicapped parking is located at the Benton County Health Department, 1238 Commercial Street.  Busses will take visitors from BCHD to the Harbor.