Dallas County Conservation’s annual Prairie Awakening – Prairie Awoke Celebration will be held from 4-8 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 9 at the Kuehn Conservation Area between Redfield and Earlham. The theme of this year’s celebration is Elders and Trees.

Four burr oak trees will be planted during the festival this year. The ceremonial planting is both a physical and symbolic honoring of the Elders instrumental in the creation of the celebration. You can join in and honor an Elder of your clan, too. The Elders will be honored with drumming, song, dance and the placing of trees in the four directions. These trees serve as a testament to our remembrance of the importance of Elders and will comfort us with their shade at future awakenings.

Additionally, world champion hoop dancer Dallas Chief Eagle will perform an exhibition dance and engage the audience in story-telling around a bonfire. Native drums will welcome you to the awakening and encourage you to join the celebration - dancing in the arena carved into the tallgrasses of Kuehn’s prairie. Part of the awakening will be the release of a rehabilitated raptor back into the wild skies above the arena.

Concessions will be available on-site. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets for seating. Few programs offer this magical setting of the long light of the evening across the autumn hues of the prairie, embolden with the invitation to awaken by the drum, dance and stories of our places’ first voices.

This event is free and no registration is required. No pets please. Directions to the Kuehn Conservation Area, and a detailed schedule of events, can be found on the Dallas County Conservation Board webpage, www.dallascountyiowa.gov/conservation.