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Rural Heritage Day Is Reincarnated


Some autumn fun will be in store in Ste. Genevieve this weekend.

The former Rural Heritage Days, sponsored by the Ste. Genevieve Lions Club, ended about 2018.

The concept is being reinvented or reincarnated as Rural Heritage Day, a one-day special event in downtown Ste. Genevieve.

Whereas the former event was held along St. Mary’s Road and on the Jour de Fete grounds, this new event will involve several historic sites, including those run by the Felix Valle State Historical Society (FVSHS), the Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park, French Colonial America and the Foundation For Restoration of Ste. Genevieve.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Mary Elise Okenfuss, of the Welcome Center. “It’s something people have always enjoyed attending and I like that it’s now going to be throughout downtown.”

There will be activities for all ages, something Donna Rausch-Harding, FVSHS administrator, thinks is important.

“I think it’s a good educational way for parents to bring their children to see how things were done in the past,” she said. “And it’s just a fun thing to do.”

She noted that when she lived next to the Bequette-Ribault House on St. Mary’s Road, she enjoyed watching the past festivals.

“There were lots of people, lots of kids,” she said.

That opportunity to both give youngsters something fun to do, but also to potentially spark an interest in our past, is important to Harding.

“I think it’s important that you have something to bring the kids to,” she said.

“I think education is important.

“I didn’t want to see it disappear,” she said. “I was glad to see it reinvented.”

“Plus, I like the fact that it’s moving uptown, so more people can get involved in some way.”

There will be plenty to see and do.

“This year there will be reenactors and demonstrations spread out throughout town at each of the historic sites,” Okenfuss explained. “The museum learning center will have tractors on its parking lot and on the street.”