Pioneer Frolic started in 2003, and has since been held annually at the gorgeous Maurice K. Goddard State Park. To be very specific, Pioneer Frolic zeros in on frontier life along the Sandy Creek Valley in the early days of our country, 1790-1840. Since its inception the festival has maintained a strong and dedicated core of followers. To its credit the festival is staunch in its singular focus on Frontier Pennsylvania and it shows in the detail and the commitment to historical accuracy. In no small way, Pioneer Frolic is the festival you never knew you’d always been waiting for.
The centerpiece of the festival is without question the re-enactor encampment. It acts as a living history, complete with authentic tastes of colonial life in Colonial Pennsylvania. Traditional Indian houses, and makeshift colonial tent dwellings are erected while dedicated performers stick to their parts perfectly from the costume, to the accessories, to the minutia of mannerisms. Learned actors are a wealth of knowledge for visitors and through the weekend demonstrate the art of cooking in makeshift ranges using Dutch Ovens and kettles, as well as the time-tested skills of frontier life; skills such as caning and black smithing. On the quiet shores of Lake Wilhelm, in this all too real showcase, it is more than stepping back into time, it is enveloping one’s self with that time which has since past.
If by some way the encampment doesn’t convince spectators as to the festival’s specificity, then the art show will. The Pioneer Frolic invites a very select group of artisans whose work demonstrates very specialized skill sets that represent the spirit of Pennsylvania’s frontier. Crafts from these artists are not only beautiful but amazingly period specific. The result is a selection that is 100 percent unique to Pennsylvania festivals. Hand woven Native American Dolls, Native American beading art, animal pelts, decorated gourds, hand spun yarns are all for sale. In addition to all this art and living history, free wagon rides for the family, and live music is played all weekend.
Admission and Parking is free.