There’ll be a Party on the Prairie.
“It’s a full-fledged party Saturday, Nov. 4, at Pioneer Bluffs near Matfield Green,” according to Lynn Smith executive director of the living history ranch of the Henry Rogler family.
“Starting at 4 o’clock, there’ll be carriage rides, cowboy stories, game, Flint Hills ranch supper and an old-fashion barn dance,” Smith proclaimed enthusiastically.
The event is inspired by a barn dance hosted by Henry Roger in 1915. “The barn now restored to original condition was built in 1915, and Henry hosted a barn dan on December 7 that year,” Smith said.
Newspaper stories claimed more than 300 people came from as far away as 50 miles for the dance. “It lasted until after midnight when coffee and cake was served to end the celebration,” Smith said.
This Saturday’s reliving of the first barn dance will kick off with a carriage rides and games, as guest have the opportunity to partake in wine, beer and appetizer.
Tom Thompson will portray 1915 Kansas Lieutenant Governor Bill Morgan, perfect setting of atmospheric stage for that era of the ranch.
Supper catered by Chase County’s popular Ad Astra Food and Drink, at 5:30, is to feature Texas Longhorn Caviar, Cowboy Coffee Cattle Roast, Angel Biscuits and Spotted Pup. “Despite the most unusual names, supper will be very good,” Smith assured.
Making it even better for many I that cowboy professor, most knowledgeable Flint Hills historian will entertain with cowboy stories. “Anyone who knows Jim knows he’s a great storyteller and a true cowboy,” Smith verified.
Then the dancing will begin. “The barn dance will be in the loft of our barn, which seems like it was just made for dancing,” Smith’s excitement for the affair continued.
“One thing we know about the people who visit Pioneer Bluffs, they are here to experience,” Smith said. “They’re here to experience the Flint Hills; they’re here to experience ranch heritage, the history, the nature, the beauty. We’re thrilled that we can share the experience.
Proceeds from the Party on the Prairies at Pioneer Bluffs will benefit both Pioneer Bluffs and the Ranchland Trust of Kansas.
“It’ll be a fundraising event where folks are getting a wonderful evening for a tax-deductible donation,” verified Smith, who can be contacted at 620-753-3484, or email her at [email protected].
By Frank J. Buchman