EDEN The Town of Eden continues its year-long bicentennial celebration with Heritage Days on Sept. 21, 22 and 23.
A highlight of the weekend will be rides on a steam-powered locomotive on Saturday and Sunday. Two cabooses, two closed cars and one open car will provide space for approximately 200 people per ride. The trains will leave from Eden's historic depot at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on both days and travel over the Eden Valley and back to the depot.
Advance registration is available through the town's bicentennial website at www.eden200.com. Tickets are $10 for adults or $5 for children under 12. Tickets purchased on the day of departure will be $12 for adults and $6 for children. The depot, now home to the office of Dr. Kevin O'Gorman will be open so the public can see the interior of what was the waiting room for the rail line.
Those taking the train ride are encouraged to "dress appropriately" as there may be cinders, smoke and other air-borne materials. The train cars are not handicapped accessible.
The steam train rides are only one of the many activities planned for the weekend. The Eden Quilt Guild will present a Quilt Show on Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Eden United Methodist Church, 2820 East Church St. A large variety of quilts will be on display including the special commemorative quilt that the group designed and made for the town's birthday celebration. Admission to the show is $5.
The Town Hall, also on East Church Street, will be the site of historic displays each day of the weekend from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include photographs and memorabilia from private residents that depict various aspects of Eden's history.
The First Baptist Church, next door to the Town Hall, will host an Open House on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. that details the church's special connection to "Little House on the Prairie" author Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Eden's Original American Kazoo Factory will be open for factory tours all weekend and visitors will be able to purchase a special Bicentennial kazoo as they learn how this simple musical instrument has been made in Eden using the original equipment since the early 1900s.
Baseball takes center stage on Friday night with "old timers" games at 6 and 8 p.m. on the Legion Field starring players from ball teams throughout the years. There will be refreshments available and entertainment by Eden's Bicentennial Chorale during the evening. The Bicentennial Bash will take place at the legion's barn from 5 to 11 p.m featuring adult refreshments and music.
Saturday's line-up includes a variety of activities at the Main Street Elementary School. Old fashioned games for children, face painting and other activities will take place from noon to 3 p.m. Popular entertainer Glenn Colton will perform from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Creek Bend takes the stage from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and Karma Salesmen will entertain from 4 to 6 p.m. Food will be provided by O'Brien's Pub and Steakhouse throughout the day.
Pie makers are encouraged to enter the pie baking contest. Entries are due by 1 p.m. Saturday and the judging will begin at 4 p.m.
The Welch Farm Museum, just down the street from the school, will offer a demonstration of horse-drawn plowing, wagon rides around the grounds, and a glimpse into a Civil War encampment. Hamburg's Trinity Episcopal Church Pipe Band will perform from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. There will be crafts for kids and a demonstration of making apple butter. Although the house will not be open, visitors will be able to take a peak into the interior as renovations continue. Refreshments will be available for purchase as well.
Moving south on Main Street a Tractor and Equipment Show will take place both Saturday and Sunday at Swartz Field which is located behind Bauer's Eden Valley Furniture. The display will include both vintage and modern tractors and related equipment. Also included will be memorabilia from the four farm equipment dealers who once did business in the town. Chicken barbecues from Weidner's will be available at the site as well.
The Eden Historical Society will be offering tours of the historic Asa Warren House at 8639 South Main St. on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This home is believed to have been a stop on the Underground Railroad.
Calliope music will be heard along Main Street near the Four Corners area and bicentennial souvenirs will be available for purchase in front of the historic Roeller's Hotel, at the school and at the train depot.
Eden's Evergreen Cemetery will offer self-guided tours and a free, detailed map will be available where souvenirs are sold.
A free trolley will be available to take people from the school to the various sites along Main Street that are hosting Saturday's bicentennial events.
The weekend will also include dedication of the Town's Bicentennial Time Capsule in front of the Town Hall at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
A contest is currently underway among elementary and high school students to choose the "Keeper of the Key" to the time capsule and that student will be announced at the dedication.
Music will be performed by the Bicentennial Chorale and the monument will be unveiled by two fifty-year members of the Eden Fire Department.
Eden's celebration continues in November with a performance by Mike Randall as "Charles Dickens," who also celebrates his 200th birthday in 2012 and an Ecumenical Service in December.
A complete schedule of events can be found on the Town of Eden's bicentennial website, www.eden200.com.