Times Leader Staff Writer
CADIZ - Boss Bison Ranch, located at 45701 Unionvale Road, will host Baby Bison Days this Saturday and Sunday. Attendees will be able to see and pet baby bison, who range in age from newborn to three months. There will also be opportunities to feed the bison; guests are encouraged to bring loaves of bread or quartered apples as treats.
While baby bison are the namesake, the festival will also be an inter-tribal Native American gathering.
Christina Carter, co-chairman for Baby Bison Days, said Native American dancers and drummers from Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Canada and other places will be on hand to perform and offer a blessing to all the new calves. The Old 17 Singers from the Allegheny Reservation in Salamanca, NY will also perform.
"We're trying to get a pow-wow going in the area," said Carter. Boss Bison Ranch is the first organization to hold a pow-wow in the Harrison County area since the Clyde Willis Memorial Pow-Wow was last held in Cadiz in 2011.
Additionally, Baby Bison Days will feature The Desert Beckons Rock and Jewelry Shop from Wheeling, an airbrush tattooist, crafters, candle makers, blacksmiths, hair-braiding, a tomahawk contest and an instructor who will speak at least four times throughout the festival to educate attendees about bison and their many uses.
"It will be educational as well as fun," said Karen Sticht, ranch co-owner.
There will be an auction, featuring items donated by various sports teams including the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Cleveland Browns, and the New York Buffalo Bills. On Saturday, a scavenger hunt will be held for children, with clues pointing to things that may be found on a farm. Vendors throughout the event will offer pizza, ice cream and lemonade. Boss Bison Ranch will offer its customary menu, which includes bison burgers and wagon fries.
For admission, the charge is one non-perishable food item. All the food is for charity, and will be donated to Harcatus Food Pantries. However, those who forget their food item may pay one dollar for entry. The money will go toward funding bison meat to be donated to the pantries.
"Our main mission statement is food pantries need food all year-round, not just holidays," said Carter. "That's why we're doing this, pantries get hardly anything in the summer time."
"We would like everyone to come out and have a good time with us while helping for a good cause," she added.
The festival starts at 10 a.m. both days. It closes at 11 p.m. on Saturday, and 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Boss Bison Ranch is a member of the National Bison Association. The owners, John and Karen Sticht, advocate bison as a healthier, red meat alternative to beef while also seeking to educate the community about the rich history of the animal.
For more on Baby Bison Days, call 740-942-8726 or visit bossbisonranch.com/events or facebook.com/babybisondays.
Warner may be reached at mwarner@timesleader online.com.