The Highland County Historical Society still plans to hold its second annual Pioneer Day event; however, due to new COVID-19 guidelines, the Highland County Historical Society is adjusting its plans, historical society trustee John Kellis told The Times-Gazette on Friday.
The historical society’s Pioneer Day committee met with Highland County Health Commissioner Jared Warner on Tuesday to discuss its plans for the events.
“We went over everything that we were planning and Jared Warner shared with us his outlook on things and his concerns, and right now we’re still moving ahead. We also understand that there could be something from the state or health department that says we just can’t do it, and we might have to cancel it, but I think we can move ahead,” Kellis said. “The governor could come out with something next week if things turn bad, but you can’t approach something from that standpoint or you wouldn’t make the effort. We just have to be positive and do the best we can to protect everybody and give them the opportunity to be safe.”
The Highland County Historical Society will host Pioneer Day at the Scott House, located at 338 W. Main St. in Hillsboro, on Saturday, Aug. 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The historical society is ensuring that tables and booths are spaced to allow those present during the event enough room to social distance while dining and viewing presentations or demonstrations.
Visitors, demonstrators and volunteers must wear face coverings such as masks and maintain social distancing during the event, Kellis said, and the historical society will provide hand-washing and sanitizing stations. The historical society will provide masks for those who need them.
Kellis said the committee is currently developing its written plan, which it will later submit to the health department.
The historical society announced last month that it would not offer tours of the Scott House during this year’s event, but Kellis said Friday that the event’s committee is working to create additional presentations.
A bake sale will be located in the Scott House. Kellis said he expected that baked goods would be sold in single servings. The historical society will limit the number of people in the Scott House at one time.
Regardless of the changes they’ve had to make, Kellis said this year’s event will be bigger and better than the inaugural event.
The event highlights the history of many Highland County communities from 1844 to 2020, and Kellis emphasized that the event will focus on more than just Hillsboro. Kellis said volunteers from at least 10 communities around the county have agreed to take part.
The Grassy Run Historical Society will showcase Appalachian skills and demonstrations including rope making, quill writing, cooking, tin punching, weaving, archery, blacksmithing, hunting, quilting, painting and camping. The Highland County Antique Machinery Club will display antique tractors and farm machinery.
Local Boy Scouts and possibly others will be camping out on the Scott House grounds the night before Pioneer Day and taking care of general duties throughout the day, and there may be dulcimer and other music for people in the eating areas.
Some of the activities already scheduled for this year include presentations from the Scott House’s east porch and a magic show on the building’s front porch around 12 p.m. There will be a pancake breakfast/brunch from 9 a.m. to noon, a bake sale of homemade items from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and other food, such as hamburgers and hot dogs, will be available for purchase in the afternoon.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.