Aukiki River Festival 2020

Aukiki River Festival 2020
August 29 & 30, 2020
1097 Baum’s Bridge Rd.
Kouts, Indiana
When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday
Where: Collier Lodge, 1097 Baums Bridge Road, Kouts
Admission: $5 adults; free ages 12 and younger

Aukiki River Festival Facebook page

Aukiki River Festival celebrates the history of the Kankakee

August 18, 2019
By Emily Schnipke

PLEASANT TWP. — Historical re-enactors will take visitors back through time to tell the story of the Kankakee River Aug. 24 and 25 at the 12th annual Aukiki River Festival.

John Hodson, Kankakee River Historical Society Founder and President, said 2,000 to 3,000 people attend the festival annually, which occurs the same weekend as annual Porkfest in downtown Kouts.

“We’re trying to attract people to the south end of the county,” Hodson said. “We’ve got some stuff going on down here, too.”

Fur trappers and blacksmiths along with French, colonial, Native Americans actors at the festival will be portraying historical characters “that made the Kankakee River story,” Hodson said. The participants interact with guests and are there to explain the history.

Hodson said the festival is transitioning to have more wildlife and environmental features. A Native American garden was added last year, which is maintained by an expert and will be open to visit during the festival. The society has three pillars of history, ecology and the environment as part of their multi-faceted organization.

New this year, the 5th Armored Division will be bringing WWII historical items, such as a M29 Weasel. During WII, South Bend, which is at the headwaters of the Kankakee River, was a hub of war manufacturing, Hodson said.

John Hodson, Kankakee River Historical Society Founder and President, said 2,000 to 3,000 people attend the festival annually, which occurs the same weekend as annual Porkfest in downtown Kouts.

“We’re trying to attract people to the south end of the county,” Hodson said. “We’ve got some stuff going on down here, too.”

Fur trappers and blacksmiths along with French, colonial, Native Americans actors at the festival will be portraying historical characters “that made the Kankakee River story,” Hodson said. The participants interact with guests and are there to explain the history.

Hodson said the festival is transitioning to have more wildlife and environmental features. A Native American garden was added last year,

“One of the main contributors of that was the Studebakers,” Hodson said. “They shifted from auto manufacturing to producing vehicles for the war.”

The Studebaker Weasel is WWII tracked vehicle that can cross rivers and bodies of water.

“I am really excited. This is really kind of neat,” Hodson said. “What we’re going to do is celebrate the WWII veterans of Porter County.”

Other entertainment attractions at the festival include a black powder shoot, children’s crafts, an archery range, colonial-type music and food options. The division will also a live fire demonstration, firing a M1 Garand rifle, Thompson submachine gun, M1919 Browning machine gun and an artillery piece.

ARF 2020 Participant app form-fillable

ARF 2020 Waiver-fillable

ARF 2020 Waiver