Every year, on the 3rd Saturday in September, Nachusa Grasslands puts on the Autumn On The Prairie festival. This tradition started in 1988 with only a couple tents and a few dozen visitors. This year's festival boasted many vendors and attracted over 900 visitors. Walking and riding tours went out throughout the day and the site was filled with activities for all ages. Lunch was catered by Oliver's Corner Market.
Bison tours, such as the one above, went out from the site all day. The herd put on a good show for one wagon load after another.
Walking tours explored many areas of the preserve, including Tellabs Savanna (pictured above).
Among the vendors this year were many local artists. From photography to beading, each displayed their unique style and inspiration from the prairie.
One tent was devoted to painters. Several gorgeous landscapes, such as the one above, were painted on–site.
(Above) A visitor tries the atlatl, an ancient spear–throwing technique, at Alan Harrison's tent where Native American skills were demonstrated.
The welcome tent sold 290 t-shirts!
Thank you to everyone who was involved with the festival, especially to all the volunteers who put in months of effort to make this event happen every year. We look forward to seeing you all next September!
Today's author is Leah Kleiman.
I am a nature photographer, a freelance graphic designer, and Nachusa's steward of the Thelma Carpenter Prairie. I have been taking photos for Nachusa since 2012.
I have been a high school French teacher, registered piano technician, and librarian. In retirement I am a volunteer historian at Lee County Historical and Genealogical Society.