The Prairie Fire Festival is a week-long event in tribute to the ranchers of the Flint Hills of Kansas who participate in the annual range management practice of burning the prairie.
Our precious tallgrass prairie lands were first fire-managed by Mother Nature with fires caused by lightning. Indigenous Native Americans likely noticed that the bison returned to graze on freshly-burned prairie, creating an ideal hunting situation. It is also likely that Native Americans then began to purposefully set the prairie ablaze as a management tool. European settlers learned the prairie-fire principal from the Native Americans, and incorporated the practice into the management of the finest cattle-grazing lands on earth.
One of the integral prairie management tools, the annual prairie fires are also a remarkable, observable Spring-time event for visitors to the Flint Hills Region of Kansas. We invite you to join us during the Prairie Fire Festival to witness for yourself what we here in the Flint Hills have always admired.
As you travel to and from any of the scheduled seminars/events, it is likely that you might see a spectacular prairie fire off in the distance. We caution you that prairie fire is a dangerous undertaking, however. Fires are best observed from a distance. There are a few customary observation points, the view from which thrills locals and visitors alike. The local information centers would be happy to direct you to them. It is strongly suggested that you not attempt to get too close to a prairie fire. Unintentional interference with those who are managing a fire could potentially cause damage to people and property.
2010 Schedule of Events
Monday, April 5, 6:30 p.m.
Dr. TOM EDDY, Instructor of Biology, Emporia State University will present "Plants of the TallGrass Prairie", with emphasis on Native American use of certain plants.??This lecture was presented early in the years of Prairie Fire Festival, and is back this year by special request.
Tuesday, April 6, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, April 7, 6:30 p.m.?
Pieces of the Past:? Kansas History and Prehistory Reflected in Artifacts???
???? History is often based on written records, but this approach leaves many human societies without any history, including native peoples of Kansas who had thriving societies for the last 10,000 years but no written language.? This presentation focuses on how archaeologists reconstruct the past from the material record - the artifacts left behind.? Dr. Blakeslee invites seminar attendees to bring Native American artifacts to the seminar for identification.? Don is an expert on prehistoric and early historic plains life.
Presented by Donald J. Blakeslee, Dept. of Anthropology, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas
Emma Chase Cafe - BRUCE HOGLE - ?Kansas Images? - Bruce loves to travel the state of Kansas, in all kinds of weather, to photograph what Mother Nature presents.? He tends to revisit places that he finds particularly appealing, but also enjoys ?discovering? new spots.? He fell head-over-heels about the Flint Hills the first time he drove some of the country roads in the Alma/Alta Vista area several years ago.? Since then, he?s been a regular visitor and has made a number of new friends whom ?? ??? he characterizes as ?great and gracious people.??
Bruce has: ?
Images published in ?Kansas? magazine and in their calendar;
Won awards, including at the 5-state photography competition in Hays;
Is photographer for the Land Trust and
He is Editor of a photo book of a Flint Hills ranch near Council Grove.
His website is www.BLHoglePhotography.com?
Thursday, April 8, 6:30 p.m.???? ?
Emma Chase Cafe.? ROGER WEAVER presents "Prairie Fire Images".? Roger is a local photographer, who was as the right place at the right time one year ago, and was able to capture some remarkable images of a "picture-perfect" prairie fire.??Roger will have CDs of his images and piano compositions available for purchase.
Friday, April 9, 7:30 p.m.
Prairie Fire Festival edition of K-177 BlueGrass Pickin'.? An acoustic jam session with some of the finest BlueGrass Pickers in Central Kansas.? Join us to participate or to listen.
Saturday, April 10, 11 to 5 - 220 1/2 Broadway
11:00 AM - Mike Holder, "What Constitutes A TallGrass Prairie".? Learn all about the reasons we celebrate Prairie Fire Festival in Chase County, Kansas.? We have scheduled Mike for Saturday this year.......so that those of you who have been unable to attend weeknight sessions, can finally hear his wonderful talk on the weekend!
1:00 PM - Erin Pouppirt, "The Plains Indians" -??Join us to learn about the connections between the Kanza, the Quapaw, the Osage, the Ponca, and the Omaha tribes - five Native American tribes from the Ohio Valley that share the same linguistic background.? While their stay in the area that came to be known as Kansas Territory was not a permanent one, their presence changed the region forever.? The presentation will feature an exploration?of language, heritage, and folklofe.? The presenter will dress in her traditional Kansas/Osage regalia.
2:00 PM - Chris Howell, "The Pawnee Tribe in Kansas" -? From their homelands along the Platte and Loup Rivers in Nebraska and the Republican River in Kansas to their relocation in Oklahoma, the Pawnee Tribe has been an important part of this region's heritage.? This presentation will discuss reservation lands in Kansas that were originally set aside for American Indian tribes and historic sites where the Pawnee once lived.? Join us to learn about the current status of the Pawnee Nation and to examine historic and modern photographs and maps illustrating the tribe's relocation.
3:00 PM - Jerry Shaw, "Understanding Native American Identity" -? Rural or urban, Navajo, Osage or Chippewa - there is tremendous diversity among Native Americans, yet there are also common values and concerns.? Discover the values that characterize Indian cultures.
7:30 PM - EXHIBITION by HorseShoe Lake Singers,
Call (620) 273-6020 for more information
?? ??? ??? ?An inter-tribal group from the Wichita area.? Several participants in this group were with us two years ago, and we look forward to their return to Prairie Fire Festival 2010.