Festivals + Parties

Journey through the Underground Railroad at Conner Prairie

When: April 13-14, 6:30-9:30 p.m., April 20-21, 6:30-9:30 p.m. and April 27-28, 6:30-9:30 p.m. 2012

Have you ever wondered what it was like to seek freedom on the Underground Railroad? Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, Indiana’s only Smithsonian Affiliate, brings you face-to-face with the fears and challenges of a fugitive on the run in the award-winning, nationally acclaimed Follow the North Star program.

“Follow the North Star was one of the first programs nationally to give the visitor a role in recreating an important historical event,” said Ellen M. Rosenthal, president and CEO. “It has achieved renown for making the tragedy of slavery and struggles on the Underground Railroad feel achingly real to people today.”

Presented by Fifth Third Bank, Follow the North Star runs April 13-14, 20-21 and 27-28 and allows participants to experience what it was like to be a fugitive slave seeking independence. During the journey towards freedom, visitors meet many individuals that either want to help or hinder their progress. One encounter includes a Quaker family offering shelter and advice; another includes a trader preparing for his next buying/selling opportunity. Despite the variety of experiences fugitives have throughout the evening, their fate is unknown as each participant takes away something different.

More than 60,000 people have experienced Follow the North Star since it began in 1997. Developed from years of extensive research, the program is unlike any other. This interactive glimpse into our shared past will affect you in ways that reading a book or watching a movie about it cannot. The program offers a powerful diversity training tool and unique educational experience for groups, individuals and schools and provides an immersive, real-life encounter with what it was like to be a fugitive in one of Indiana’s most compelling periods of history.

Follow the North Star is not for everyone. The program takes place outdoors in all weather conditions with participants walking approximately one mile on rough terrain. The emotional effect of the program is intense, as people are treated as if they were enslaved. Because of the nature of the experience, participants must be 12 years of age or older.

Follow the North Star runs April 13-14, 20-21 and 27-28 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., lasting 90 minutes with groups starting every 15 minutes. Tickets are $20 for non-members and $17 for members. Reservations are required.

Price: $20 for non-members and $17 for members.

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