FISHERS, Ind. (October 31) – Have you ever wondered what it was like to be a fugitive slave on the Underground Railroad? Experience what it was like to flee from captivity, come face-to-face with slave hunters and risk everything for freedom in the award-winning, nationally acclaimed Follow the North Star program at Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, Indiana’s only Smithsonian Affiliate.
Presented by Fifth Third Bank, Follow the North Star runs November 3-5, 10-12 and 17-19. Since the program began in 1998, nearly 60,000 people have participated.
About Follow the North Star
Follow the North Star allows participants to become fugitive slaves on the Underground Railroad. During the journey towards freedom, fugitives meet many individuals that either want to help or hinder their progress. One face-to-face encounter includes a Quaker family offering shelter and advice; another includes a slave trader preparing for his next buying/selling opportunity. Despite the variety of encounters fugitives have throughout the evening, their fate is unknown as each participant takes away something different from the experience.
Conner Prairie’s Follow the North Star program, developed from years of extensive research, 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. The program provides an immersive, real-life encounter with what it was like to be a fugitive slave in one of Indiana’s most compelling periods of history.
Follow the North Star is not for everyone. This program takes place outdoors in all weather conditions, and participants walk approximately one mile on rough terrain. The emotional effect of the program is intense, as participants are treated as if they were enslaved, being told to keep their eyes down and not to speak unless spoken to. Because of the nature of the experience, participants must be 12 years or older.
How to Participate
Follow the North Star runs November 3-5, 10-12 and 17-19 from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m., lasting 90 minutes with groups starting every 15 minutes. Tickets are $20 for non-members and $17 for members. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (317) 776-6006.
For high-resolution, downloadable images of Conner Prairie’s Follow the North Star program, visit the Newsroom at www.connerprairie.org. Create a login and locate the program under Special Events and Festivals at www.connerprairie.org/Newsroom/Downloadable-Images.aspx.
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, created by Eli Lilly in 1934, is Indiana’s only Smithsonian Affiliate and a 2010 Institute of Museum and Library Services National medal award recipient. Families of today engage, explore and discover what it was like to live and play in Indiana’s past. Explore five themed historic areas on 200 beautiful, wooded acres including the newest exhibits, 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana and 1859 Balloon Voyage that takes guests 350 feet above the prairie in a tethered helium balloon. Every visit is a unique adventure that provides an authentic look into the history that shapes us today. Visit www.connerprairie.org or call 317.776.6006 or 800.966.1836 for admission dates, hours and ticket prices. Connect with Conner Prairie on Facebook at www.facebook.com/connerprairie, Flickr at www.flickr.com/people/connerprairie, YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/ConnerPrairie and Twitter at www.twitter.com/connerprairie.