Prairie Day is just days away

     The 21st annual Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area’s Prairie Day is just days away.
    The park’s Prairie Partners, the volunteer arm of the park, have set Saturday, Sept. 15, as the date for the annual festival.
    Prairie Day is a day to celebrate the prairie environment. On this one day the quiet of the prairie is interrupted for exploration, amazement and fun.
    Presentations on the environment and nature play an important part of the day’s activities and include a traveling American Indian museum, reptiles, wagon rides, a magician and balloon twisting.
    All activities are centered around the visitor’s center located at 5010 N. Jugtown Road, Morris, and are free of charge. Events run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Refreshments, including bison burgers, will be available for purchase from the Prairie Partner Food Shop and the  gift shop will  be open with proceeds going to support projects and programs at the natural area.
    The day begins at 10 a.m. with a park introduction video.
    Lou Aiello’s American Indian Traveling exhibit will be located on the visitor’s center lawn and demonstrations will include rope making and paddle dancing.  
    Illinois Natural History Survey’s Traveling Science Center will also be at Prairie Day.
    Dave DiNaso and his Traveling World of Reptiles make a return appearance at Prairie Day. DiNaso and his snakes, turtles, alligators, frogs, lizards and spiders will be featured from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. Beth Wagner’s Scales and Tails show will begin at noon.
    Interactive wagon rides on the prairie with a naturalist will take place at 11 a.m., noon, 1:15 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.  Riders must sign up for a time at the ticket master’s table.
    The day will also include balloon twisting beginning at 1 p.m. and a comedy/magic show featuring Brian Holt starts at 2 p.m.
    Prairie Day visitors can also take advantage of all the park has to offer, from nature trails and picnic areas to a visit to the Cragg Cabin.
    Additionally, the Prairie Partners will draw the winner of its annual quilt fundraiser at 2:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the visitor’s center.
    The event is organized by the Prairie Partners and sponsored by Exelon Generation’s Dresden Nuclear Generating Station.
    Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area is operated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. For more information on the park visit