A one-time popular annual event celebrating 19th-Century life on the rugged Texas plains, Frontier Day is again a part of Abilene State Park and scheduled for the afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 3. >From noon to 4 p.m., park visitors can enjoy booths, activities, displays, re-enactors and demonstrations that highlight the daily routines and challenges experienced by settlers and soldiers who called this area home during the 1800s. Activities and programs scheduled for the day include a vintage baseball game, an authentic chuck wagon, a buffalo hunter, archery, Old-West re-enactors, 1870s military soldier demonstrations, animals from the official Texas State Longhorn herd, the Game Warden Operation Game Thief trailer, dulcimer music, flint knapping and more. The park friends group will also have snacks and drinks available for sale
“They used to have a Frontier Day event at Abilene, and we decided to bring it back,” said Dawn Capps, park ranger and peace officer at Abilene State Park. “It’s important to show people what life would have been like so many years ago, and how people would have survived on the frontier. Things are, of course, dramatically different today, but we want to make sure that these stories and traditions don’t get lost. And Abilene is a perfect place to host this event; the area in and around the park was a strategic and leading edge to the frontier, because of the buffalo passageway, water and trees that have always been here.”
This Saturday’s festivities also mark the 20th Anniversary of the Buffalo Soldiers program at Texas Parks and Wildlife, a division of park staff that specializes in preserving and promoting the history, heritage and culture of the famed Black Soldier units of the 9th and 10th Cavalry and 24th and 25th Infantry regiments of the U.S. Army. The Buffalo Soldiers, who will have an encampment at Frontier Day, historically served at various frontier outposts across Texas during the Indian Wars campaign from 1866-1892. Through education programs and curriculum, outreach events and re-enactments, the Buffalo Soldiers unit of TPWD staff and volunteers travels the state as a living history exhibit, and is making its first return trip to Abilene since the program began two decades ago. Park entrance fees will be discounted to $3 per person for Frontier Day for adults, and kids ages 12 and younger are free. For more information about Frontier Day, contact Abilene State Park at (325) 572-3204, or visit www.texasstateparks.org.
Numerous frontier exhibits like this authentic chuck wagon will be on display during Frontier Day at Abilene State Park this Saturday. Park entrance fees have been reduced for adults, and kids ages 12 and younger are free. (TPWD Photo by Bryan Frazier)