Imagine a life where early pioneers made candles, spun and wove cloth, made baskets by hand, depended on their garden and crops for food, told stories or made music for entertainment and traveled by horse and wagon.

That life, as it was once lived on the Missouri prairies, will come to life during Prairie Day, an annual event that celebrates life on the prairie as George Washington Carver experienced during his childhood

The annual Prairie Day event takes place on Saturday, September 14 at the George Washington Carver National Monument near Diamond. The event is free and open to the public.

In addition to living history demonstrations, there will be the opportunity for kids to earn a Junior Ranger Badge, listen to stories, programs and enjoy a variety of traditional music. Numerous area organizations and groups will also have exhibits on the grounds during Prairie Day.

Carver, a noted agriculturist, scientist and inventor was born on the Moses Carver farm during the turbulent years of the Civil War. Born a slave, Carver was kidnapped by night riders as a week-old infant along with his mother and sister. Carver was recovered and returned to Moses and Susan Carver. The Carvers raised George and his brother, Jim.

Carver grew up familiar with both the woods and the prairie, earning a reputation as a Plant Doctor.

Prairie Day annually commemorates life on the 19th century prairie with numerous Volunteers in Parks demonstrating traditional tasks and crafts. Broom making, an apple cider press, banjo building, and area Master Gardeners.

Music will be provided by Dee Ban's Auto Harp, Ripplin' Creek bluegrass, Corbin and McAllister, the Paic Family Strings, and Homemade Jam Dulcimers. There will also be a special performance by Brother John as Tom Bass, a 19th century noted horse trader who was born into slavery. The Vogts Sisters will also perform at noon and at 2 p.m.

140 acres of tall grass prairie has been preserved at the park. Wagon rides will be provided at no charge throughout the day. Stories of prairie life and Carver will be shared during the rides.

Food concessions will be available from the Diamond Lions Club at the park.

Upcoming events at Carver include Public Land Day on Saturday, September 28 from 10 a.m. through 3 p.m. Public Land Day is a national volunteer led event to improve public lands. On Saturday, September 12, Hispanic Heritage Day will be observed at the park with a number of special guests and events from 10 a.m. through 3 p.m. In December, the annual Holiday Open House will also be held on Saturday, December 7 from 1-3 p.m.

The George Washington Carver National Monument is located at 5646 Carver Road, near Diamond, MO.