CELEBRATING 10 YEARS

May 23, 2002 12:00 am

BAKER CITY — The clock is ticking down on the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center's 10th anniversary celebration.

The biggest and splashiest events are set for Memorial Day weekend. But several other events were planned earlier this month for the center's largest celebration since it was founded in 1992.

The weekend's events will get started Friday with a "Festival for Young 'Uns." The festival, set for 9 a.m. through noon, is being offered for local fourth-graders who, like the center itself, turned 10 years old in 2002.

On Saturday, Daniel Slosberg will make an historical presentation at 9:30 a.m. in the Leo Adler Theater. Slosberg plays Pierre Cruzatte, the fiddler and navigator on the Lewis and Clark expedition. He mixes stories of Cruzatte's exploits with period music and songs on fiddle, jaw harp, bones and spoons. Young fiddlers will play at 10:05 a.m. at the outdoor amphitheater.

Then, at 10:20 a.m., the official rededication program will begin in the amphitheater.

First will be a presentation of arms, followed by speeches by President Thomas Jefferson (historic re-enactor Doug Copsey), and President John Tyler (by re-enactor Stitch Marker), who was president in 1843, when Oregon Trail emigration began in earnest — but without Tyler's support.

The wagon encampment is set to circle up from 12:30 p.m. through 2 p.m. during which time lunch will be served to the first 750 attendees.

Five more programs will round out Saturday's celebration.

"Strings Attached," a musical foursome, will perform at 1 p.m. The Generation Dance Troupe, which performs American Indian dances, will offer a performance at 1:30 p.m.

"Fanny," which illustrates the courage, endurance and heartbreak faced by women on the Trail, will be performed at 2:45 p.m. at the amphitheater. The performer is Joyce Hunsaker.

Interpretive specialist Nancy Harms will offer her "Quilt of Life" tales of the trail experience at 4 p.m. in the amphitheater. The stories, culled from diaries and letters, are hopeful, sad, poignant and hilarious.

Saturday's final event is dancing at the wagon encampment, commencing at 5 p.m.

Programs on Sunday include "Spinnin' Wheels," a slide show and living history about three Oregon Trail women and their experiences before and after the trek west. Harms will present "Spinnin' Wheels" at 11 a.m.

Cruzatte will be reprised at noon, and Strings Attached will play at 1:15 p.m.

A program called "Hattie" is set for 2:30 p.m.. That will be followed at 3:45 p.m. by "Pioneer Portrayals," views of the trail experience offered by John and Marian Brown and Irv Mahugh.

The wagon train is scheduled to arrive at the center Sunday afternoon. At 5 p.m., wagon train activities — including dinner, dancing and fun — are set.

All activities through Sunday are offered free of charge.

The center is located five miles northeast of Baker City, off Highway 86.

For more information, call 523-1843, or visit the Web site: www.or.blm.gov/NHOTIC.