Festival to honor Lewis, Clark journey

Friday, April 30, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:24 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 12, 2008

Sleepless nights and endless anxiety describe Mayor Nancy Grant as she prepares for Hartsburg’s first Lewis and Clark bicentennial festival and one of the largest in the area.

In the town of a little more than 100 people, Grant and her husband, Mike Rodemeyer, along with several volunteers, are setting up tents, welcoming re-enactors and worrying about the forecast, which is calling for a chance of showers and thunderstorms Friday night and Saturday morning.

“Weather doesn’t make any difference,” Grant said. “The festival will proceed rain or shine.”

She said the possibility of rain on Saturday has put a damper on the American Indian display. A group of American Indian historians was planning on bringing three tepees but now are only bringing one. The tepees are decorated with art and crafts that could be destroyed if they get wet.

Grant said the rain will not affect most of the activities because they will be covered by tents.

The festival in the center of Hartsburg will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Festivalgoers will see Sacagawea, other American Indians and several other reenactors. Also displayed will be 1804 music, plants and medicine. There will also be Indian rock art, gunsmithing and dugout canoe demonstrations put on by the Department of Conservation.

Children can watch the Southern Boone County Elementary School put on a Lewis and Clark performance at 10 a.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The children will also be in the Peace United Church of Christ, teaching others how to make clay canoes, journals and crafts.

A commemorative postal cancellation also will be displayed and available to buy.

While Grant is planning for the festival to be a success, she also hopes all in attendance will take something away from it in regards to Lewis and Clark history.

“I am excited and nervous,” she said, “but confident this will be worth the time that went into it.”

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