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Frontier Days begins

Annual event this weekend

June 1, 2012
By BRANDON L. SUMMERS, , Messenger News

Those who don't remember the past can surely relive it this weekend at Frontier Days.

The annual event, held at the Fort Dodge Fort Museum, is celebrating a century and a half of Fort Dodge history with buckskinners, traders, craftsmen and more.

"Frontier Days is a community festival," Kerk Friday, committee chairman, said. "This is its 38th year. We started way back when. It celebrates our heritage with a modern flair, I'd guess you say."

Article Photos

-Messenger photo by Brandon L. Summers
Kerk Friday raises the flag with Boy Scouts Brock Friday, Alex Jordan and Toxie Friday, officially beginning the weekend-long event. Present are parade Grand Marshals Cindy and Mike Mulroney.

According to Friday, the purpose of the event is to get Fort Dodgers to appreciate and celebrate their heritage.

"It brings about the Fort Dodge history and stuff that came out of Fort Dodge. The pottery, to the military past that we have, the buckskinners," he said. "It shows what it was like in Fort Dodge, when it started."

Over the weekend, there will be many things for visitors to enjoy.

Fact Box

Frontier Days

Where: Fort Museum

When: Today, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: $5 per person

"There's all kinds of bands, all kinds of food vendors. We've got buckskinners. The Dragoons are going to be here. The Ghost Garrison. The fort will be open. The Cardiff Giant. Cowboy Camp. All kinds of things," Friday said.

Of all the offerings available this weekend, Friday enjoys the music from the live bands the most, he said.

"And the buckskinners," he said. "They're my favorite."

This year's Frontier Days event is an independent effort, Friday said, where traditionally it has been done through the museum.

"It's the Frontier Days committee that puts it on," he said. "We actually rent the grounds from the Fort Committee, but we work in conjunction with them to get the thing done."

Friday said it is important to remember the past.

"Without it, you can't go forward," he said. "It's just nice to let people know what it was like, so they know what their roots are."

One of the figures present at the opening ceremonies was the sheriff of Frontier Days, portrayed by Jake Drummond, of Fort Dodge.

"I protect the town, keep all the ruffians out," he said.

This is Drummond's first time portraying the character, a role he was excited to take on.

"I've been wanting to do this my whole life. And so I finally get the chance to do it," he said.

Drummond strode the museum grounds with a sharp eye, his pistol at ready.

"It's an 1850 Navy Colt revolver," he said.

Lance Hart, in costume portraying a buckskinner for event's buckskinner camp, said he enjoys experiencing the past and its way of life.

"I like being outdoors, not being around electricity or anything that we need in the actual, normal time," he said.

At 5 p.m., Friday led the opening ceremonies. Present were this year's parade grand marshals, Mike and Cindy Mulroney, who have been parade organizers since 1992. Boy Scouts Brock Friday, Toxie Friday and Alex Jordan unfolded and raised the flag, while Brad "Big Horn" Hart led a procession in the Pledge of Allegiance.

"With that, we're open," Friday said.

The festivities continue today and through Sunday, concluding with a talent show in the opera house and closing ceremonies.



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