Mark Your Calendars: Duneland Heritage Days at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Another September weekend is on tap with another festival to enjoy in the National Park System. This time the backdrop is Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and the event is the first annual Duneland Heritage Days.

Scheduled for next weekend, September 18th and 19th, the festival will be based at the Chellberg Farm and Bailly Homestead. Head there and you'll be taken on a journey of 10,000 years of shared heritage and learn how people and the land have influenced each other over time.

At Duneland Heritage Days explore three activity zones covering broad time periods of our shared history. Near the Bailly Homestead, learn about the continued heritage of American Indians and see demonstrations of drumming, dancing, and open-fire cooking. Understand how early trade routes were influenced by Lake Michigan and the wetlands. Learn about early cultures through evidence they left behind and earn a junior ranger archeology badge.

Near the Chellberg farm, explore a pre-industrial agricultural lifestyle through soap making, bread making, and pressing apple cider. Take an old-fashioned hay ride or learn how early farm foods could be preserved and how clothes were cleaned at the turn of the 20th Century. See how shifting work opportunities and a migration from farms to towns were influenced by different waves of immigrants.

Finally, near the picnic shelters learn how transportation, industry, residential development, and tourism have recently shaped our landscape. Be treated to stories by Mama Edie and the Northwest Indiana Storytellers guild. Learn about the birth of the local ecology and conservation movements that resulted in the establishment of both the state park and national lakeshore.

This free, hands-on event offers opportunities to celebrate our shared heritage and trace the threads of land use, development, and stewardship over time. Music from Banjo Bob, Trois Canard and others will add to the festive atmosphere. Foods such as Swedish potato sausages, corn on the cob, and hamburgers will be available for purchase to sustain you at two of the three locations. An open air Farmer’s Market will also have abundant apples and other produce available for purchase.

The Chellberg Farm and Bailly Homestead are located on Mineral Springs Road between U.S. Hwy. 12 and U.S. Hwy. 20 in Porter, Indiana.