Chimney Rock Pioneer Days kicks off Friday night

Sunflowers bloom in front of Chimney Rock on Aug. 27. The landmark's visitor center will host multiple presentations on Saturday as part of Chimney Rock Pioneer Days.

Although it’s changed over the last 30 years, the purpose of Chimney Rock Pioneer Days has stayed the same: To celebrate the Valley’s past.

“Knowing how you got here is important,” said Loren Pospisil, curator of the visitor center at Chimney Rock.

The landmark will play host to four presentations this weekend during the celebration, in addition to a number of events taking place around Bayard.

A beer garden will kick things off at 8 p.m. Friday at Library Park and Midwest System DJ will begin pumping up the jams at 8:30 p.m. The beer garden will feature Kinkader Brewing Company. There is no admission.

On Saturday, pancakes will be served up at the American Legion for a free will donation from 7-9:30 a.m. The Mutt Strutt 5K begins at 7:30 Library Park.

The parade will begin at 11 a.m. at the corner of 12th Street and Main.

“We have a really great parade,” said John Schmall, who is on the event’s planning committee.

A horseshoe tournament is set to begin at Library Park at noon, which is also when the food and craft vendors and the beer garden will be open for business.

At 1 p.m., live entertainment will begin at the park and bounce houses will be available for the kids.

“We’ll have the game on in the beer garden,” said Schmall. Kick-off is at 1:30 p.m.

A cornhole tournament will also start at 1:30 p.m.

Wyatt Harrington will start the presentations off at Chimney Rock at 1 p.m. in the outdoor amphitheater. He will be talking about how drones can be useful at places such as Chimney Rock.

At 1:30 in the auditorium, Pospisil will share the stories of other Chimney Rocks throughout the country — there are at least 37 of them.

Living history demonstrations will take place outside the visitor center from 2-4 pm. Author Cody Assmann will talk about fur trading as well as demonstrate the tools and tricks of the mountain man trade.

Pospisil will be in the auditorium again at 2:30 p.m., discussing the contact between Native Americans and emigrants, which consisted of more cooperation than conflicts.

Admission to the visitor’s center will be free on Saturday and Sunday.

“You can’t beat free,” Pospisil said.

He said he believes events such as Pioneer Days are important, especially as people become more wrapped up in technology.

Entertainment will continue Saturday night, with “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” playing at the swimming pool at dusk.

The band, 5 To Life, will take the stage at Library Park at 8:30 p.m.

“It kind of winds down on Sunday,” said Schmall.

The final event of the weekend is the trap shoot at Chimney Rock Trap Club.

All of the events are free with the exception of tournament entry fees and the pancake feed.

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

Kamie Stephen is a reporter with the Star-Herald. She can be reached at 308-632-9041 or via email at

Kamie Stephen is a reporter with the Star-Herald. She can be reached at 308-632-9041 or via email at

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