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Fires spotted at Jesse Jones Park

Thousands of individuals enjoy passive recreation at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center each year. Those fortunate ones who visit this weekend, though, can witness flames of all types and sizes, as the park presents a fire making demonstration and blacksmithing program Saturday, February 9 at 1 p.m. And flames are sure to dance around the campfire during that evening’s Pioneer Campfire program at 6:30 p.m.

Whether it is for lighting a fire in the fireplace or starting a charcoal grill, virtually everyone has had to use butane lighters at some time or another. Very few of those who use them are aware that the same basic design that allows the lighter to produce a flame has been used since times long past. To learn more about how fires are started “the pioneer way,” join staff member Mike Howlett as he uses flint, steel and other olden day materials to start a fire in the Redbud Hill Homestead’s blacksmith shop.

Blacksmith shop, you say? Unfortunately, with the development of iron factories, hand fashioning metal goods has become a virtual lost art.

Immediately following the fire making demonstration, witness this interesting trade first-hand as volunteer blacksmiths heat up the forge in the blacksmith shop. Olden day blacksmithing devices, such as a hand-pumped bellows, stump-mounted anvils and leg vises, are used to demonstrate how metal can be hammered and shaped into a variety of useful and beautiful items.

For those people who like to sit around a campfire and join in sing-alongs or listen to music and stories, Jones Park’s Pioneer Campfire program Saturday at 6:30 p.m. is one not to be missed. Old-fashioned wassail, roasted marshmallows and other treats await you during this after-hours event. Reservations are required.

Sunday, February 10, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., the Second Sunday Pickers take center stage in the nature center for a lively informal concert featuring folk music of ages past. Visitors can just sit back and enjoy the music, or bring your own instrument and join in.

Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center, a Harris County Precinct 4 facility, is located at 20634 Kenswick Drive in Humble. All programs are free of charge and open to the public. Harris County Precinct 4 programs servo people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, national origin or disability. For more information on the park or any of its programs, call 281-446-8588.