Today, we live in an amazing time. People today often like to think we’re smarter than our ancestors 200 years ago. Well, if that describes you, I invite you to head out to Chehaw today, tomorrow, or Saturday for the annual Frontier Festival and see just how wrong you really are.
Two years ago, this paper ran a report about the festival. I, your intrepid reporter, took on the mantel of a participant and did all manner of things. Frankly, it was times like that when being a reporter hardly counts as “work”. Last year, I invited you to come out and see what it was all about. I offer that invitation once again as the times approach.
Now, not everyone wants to put on clothes based on stuff worn over 200 years ago, sleep on the ground, cook over an open fire, and deal with the weather like that. I understand that perfectly well. While I enjoy it, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. However, if you’re an American, you owe it to yourself to head out and learn a bit about this country, the kind of stuff you won’t read in a history text.
The Frontier Festival is based around the fur trade era that existed in this country from before the French and Indian War until around 1820. Furs were one of this nations first viable exports and made many men extremely wealthy. However, unlike what you may think of as industries, the fur trade was made possible by brave men who risked life and limb to trap the beavers and helped build this country into what it is today.
It’s not about the regurgitation of facts like most history classes have become, but instead about the day to day operations that are similar enough to what we do on a daily basis as to be familiar, yet very different in how it is accomplished. It’s about the hard life of danger and adventure that came to define the term “American”.
Our DNA, as a nation, is about how we got here. The hard struggles, the financial windfalls, and everything in between is what made us who we are as a nation. For just one weekend per year, you have the opportunity to see first hand how people did things. You have a chance to actually do some of it as well.
The Frontier Festival is just once a year, so don’t miss out. Learn the real history of the United States.