Taps Across the Water at Dusk

“Taps Across the Water at Dusk” May 30, 2021

To honor Memorial Day, Chautauqua-Wawasee and Syracuse American Legion Post 223 are working
together to organize “Taps Across the Water at Dusk” for a May 30 th event.

The playing of Taps will be performed in synchrony by more than thirty buglers positioned strategically around Lake Wawasee,
Syracuse Lake and Papakeechie Lake so it’s audible to all lake residents and boaters.

The organizers are seeking buglers who wish to participate by performing in the event. Interested buglers should contact
Debbie Yankosky at 574-377-7543 or Chris Longenbaugh at 574-529-0566 for more information.


Sponsored by: Oakwood Foundation Chautauqua-Wawasee, a 501-c3 non-profit organization provides
life-enriching experiences in support of the Arts, Education, Faith, and Recreation. To learn more see
http://www.chautauquawawasee.org or our Facebook site.

Gardening in the face of a changing climate

Gardening in the Face of a Changing Climate – with John Edgerton

John Edgerton of Shelbyville, Michigan returns to Syracuse for a second workshop to explore wholistic, resilient, sustainable techniques for gardening and small farming. He will share his experience and practical knowledge on the importance of healthy soil, healthy plants, and helpful insect habitats. Other topics will include variety selection and ways to account for climate-related imbalances of diseases and insects. He will share what others in the bioregion are doing to address these issues. The Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation and the Syracuse-Wawasee Garden Club are jointly sponsoring this program with Chautauqua-Wawasee.

What: One hour presentation, followed by deeper discussion.

When: April 24, 1:00 – 4:00

Where: Syracuse Community Center, 1013 N. Long Dr, Syracuse, Indiana

Cost: Free to the Public. Please register to help us estimate attendance.

About the Presenter

John Edgerton lives with his partner and fellow farmer, Amy Newday. Together, they have done both market gardening and community-supported agriculture. John has done dozens of workshops on gardening and seed saving, most recently, at conferences sponsored by the Michigan Food and Farm Alliance, Michigan Integrative Food and Farming Systems, and KEEP GROWING DETROIT. He and Amy have worked with the Inter-Tribal Food Summit to grow out and repatriate several varieties of indigenous Northern Flint Corn. They also work with a network of northern gardeners to perform grow-out trials of Upland Rice varieties to determine suitability for our northern bioregion. John and Amy co-taught a course for seniors at Kalamazoo College on “Slow Farming” a form that is committed to limited and appropriate technology. John co-founded a local community garden in Martin, MI. He has also served as a schoolteacher in the Martin Michigan public school, and, long ago, at The Learning Center, a parent-teacher non-public cooperative elementary school, in Fort Wayne.

2021 Patriot's Day Celebration

2021 Patriot’s Day Celebration

Chautauqua-Wawasee is proud to present the 2021 Patriot’s Day Celebration.

Lincoln re-enactor, Danny Russel, brings Lincoln’s wonderful humor, honesty, love of learning, mastery of language and empathy for his fellow man to life in a one-hour presentation on the lawn at Oakwood Resort.

Chautauqua-Wawasee invites you to start the Patriot’s Day celebration with Lincoln’s tour-de-force at 4:30, then have dinner at Oakwood’s Pier & Back Porch lakeside restaurant, then return to the lawn for the 7:30 Patriotic Pops concert by the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.  Bring a lawn chair or blanket.  Stop by our tent to receive a free patriotic gift.

What:  Lincoln performance by Danny Russel

When:  June 27, 4:30 – 5:30

Where:  Oakwood Resort, Syracuse, Indiana

Tickets: Free

See www.ChautauquaWawasee.org or follow us on Facebook or call 574-377-7543

Oakwood Fine Arts Festival

Calling all artists! Sign-up for the 2021 Oakwood Fine Arts Festival is OPEN!

Calling all artists! Sign-up for the 2021 Oakwood Fine Arts Festival is OPEN!

Chautauqua-Wawasee is holding the 7th annual Oakwood Fine Arts Festival on June 12 in the Oakwood Resort park in Syracuse, Indiana.  This Festival brings together 30 local and regional artists from around the northern Indiana area.

When:  June 12, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Where:  Oakwood Resort, Syracuse, Indiana


For more information, or to sign up, please contact Debbie

Email: debbie@chqw.org

Phone: 574-377-7543

And feel free to spread the word!  Let’s make this year’s festival, an amazing one!

Secret Santa Drawing

Chautauqua-Wawasee thought it might be fun to have a Secret Santa Drawing!

We can’t give you too many details, or we’d spoil the surprise, but we hope you’ll visit our Facebook Page for details.

Our “Secret Santa” was VERY generous this year!

Old Fashioned Christmas

The “Old Fashioned Christmas” event has been cancelled

We are very disappointed to announce that after consultation with our partners, Syracuse Chamber and Syracuse Parks Department, we have decided to cancel this year’s Old Fashioned Christmas.

We wish to thank the many people who have put an incredible amount of time, energy, and money into planning this event; I know we’re all disappointed.  However, the Covid-19 positivity rate in Kosciusko County, along with the RED level in surrounding counties, is a big concern to us.

We would much rather be safe than sorry, especially during such a special time of year.

Merry Christmas, from our families to yours.

Old fashioned christmas

Second Annual Old Fashioned Christmas Celebration

Old Fashioned Christmas Celebration

For those looking for a unique fun-filled Christmas family activity, Chautauqua-Wawasee, along with the Syracuse Parks Department and Syracuse-Wawasee Chamber of Commerce, plan the 2nd annual Old Fashioned Christmas at Oakwood Resort for November 28, from 6:00 to 8:00. The celebration is open to the public, free of charge, no registration is required.  The event will be held outdoors on the grounds of Oakwood Resort, with activities starting at 6:00 around the tree near the Oakwood Inn.  Wawasee High School choir and bands are slated to be on hand.  At 6:15 the countdown to lighting 7000 lights on Oakwood’s magnificent 70-foot tree begins. After the lighting, Oakwood’s Christmas magic begins with activities sure to get grandma, grandpa, moms, dads, and children of all ages in the Christmas spirit like olden days. Starting at the Oakwood Inn, stroll up the lighted path to see Santa and Mrs. Claus to hear Christmas wishes while taking precautions to keep Santa and children safe from covid-19. Take pictures with the kids! Listen to an elf read the Night Before Christmas. Stop along the path to listen to the old fashion barbershop quartet sing carols. Warm by a yuletide log and sip some hot chocolate while munching on a cookie. Watch out for the Grinch!  Other characters will be roaming the grounds and available for pictures too. Follow the path up past the Live Nativity to the historic Oakwood chapel to hear the Bible’s Christmas story read; social distancing is set to keep everyone safe. And you’ll want to relax and enjoy a horse drawn sleigh ride around the park.  Stop by the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce’s booth to pick up a child’s craft to take home. These are just some of the many fun activities at the Old Fashioned Christmas celebration. Hope for a bit of snow, and dress warmly, and wear a scarf and face mask to protect yourself and others. Stop in the Oakwood Coffee and Creamery or The Pier and Back Porch restaurant as both will be offering specials to guests of the Old Fashioned Christmas celebration. The Syracuse Chamber of Commerce suggests that you come out early to shop small business Saturday in Syracuse from 10 am to 6 pm! A prize patrol will be out and about from 11 am to 1 pm checking in to see who is shopping! You could be a winner if we catch you shopping in Syracuse! Special thanks to our prize sponsor Mohawk Pier & Lift! Stay in touch by visiting our Facebook Page for information and updates.

When: November 28, 6:00 – 8:00 P.M.
Where: Oakwood Resort Inn (outdoor event…dress for the weather)
Syracuse, Indiana
Who: Free to the Public. No registration needed.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ChautauquaWawasee
Website: www.CHQW.org
Email questions to-   debbie@CHQW.org

Fall Cruise is now Sold Out

Fall Cruise – Lake Wawasee – “Did You Know?”

Chautauqua-Wawasee has asked local historian Ann Garceau of the Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum, and Erin Lomax of the Smithsonian Institute to share their knowledge of “What’s in the Depths of Lake Wawasee?”

Based on their research, they will surprise, entertain and delight with stories about cars, boats, coins, and other relics known to have been lost, found or submerged in the waters of Indiana’s largest natural lake.

To ensure the safety of all, face masks are required and social distancing is expected.  This event will sell-out so buy your tickets early to avoid disappointment.

What:  2-hour Lake Wawasee Cruise

When:  October 10, 1:00 – 3:00 pm; boarding begins at 12:30

Where:  The Frog Tavern, Syracuse, Indiana

Tickets: $25 here


second annual Native American series

Second Annual Native American Series | September 3-5

Chautauqua-Wawasee and Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum are collaborating to offer the second annual Native American series, which consists of three programs that explore the history of Native Americans in northeastern Indiana.  Each of the three one-hour programs will be presented over a three-day period, September 3-5, at the Syracuse Community Center, offered free of charge.  Each program will feature presenters with expert knowledge, and provide an interactive environment for discussion.  Masks are required; social distancing will be provided.

Erik Vosteen will present the first program titled “Elm Bark Dugout Canoe Construction”.  Dugout canoes have been historically reported in many lakes in northeastern Indiana, and the bark of a large elm tree can be used to build a serviceable canoe in less than a day. Erik will show how historic watercraft were built from natural materials gathered right from the forests, and built on the shores of lakes and rivers for thousands of years.  Erik Vosteen has been building and teaching about watercraft of the prehistoric Great Lakes region for over a decade.  He has built numerous   elm   bark   and dugout canoes over the past 15 years.  This program is on September 3, 6:30- 7:30, at the Syracuse Community Center.  This program is also available using the ZOOM application link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81591741101.  See the Museum’s website for more details by clicking HERE.

Jim Bickel and Michelle Edington are teaming to present the second program titled “Prehistoric weapons, tools and adornments of Native Americans”.  Michelle and Jim will bring back to the Wawasee area remnants of the inhabitants of this area from centuries ago. With over 100 years of combined studies of prehistory, they will discuss and exhibit a collection of over two hundred Native American artifacts. The identification and function of these relics will be the topic of their presentation. A short presentation identifying raw flint that is indigenous to this area will be included. Many of the artifacts will be their personal finds from thousands of hours of fieldwork.  Jim developed an interest in hunting for arrowheads as a young boy. While on fishing trips with his father, he would frequently hunt for artifacts as well. He continued to surface hunt for more than 50 years, with his most memorable day occurring on March 1, 1985 when he and his daughter Michelle discovered a cache of 70 hornstone willowleaf blades, which can be seen in Who’s Who in Indian Relics, Volume 7.  This program is on September 4, 6:30- 7:30, at the Syracuse Community Center.  This program is also available using the ZOOM application link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83111436946.

Trevor Tipton will lead the third program titled “Legends, Lore and Legacies of Northeast Indiana Natives”.  Trevor will discuss and display his Indian artifact collection acquired from Noble County and weave the local history of the Native Americans into this presentation. From the pre-historic cultures, including the Mound Builders, to the historical tribes of the Miami and the Pottawatomie, Tipton will share the history, folk stories and legends of these native peoples. His personal collection accumulated over the past 40 years will be on display.  This program is on September 5, 10:30- 11:30a.m., at the Syracuse Community Center.  This program is also available using the ZOOM application link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85926310081.  Following this program Jeff Mesaros will demonstrate Flintknapping to show how Indian artifacts were made by hand.  This technology was used in historic times to manufacture gun flints and in prehistoric times to make spear and dart points, arrow heads, knives, scrapers, blades, gravers, perforators, and many other tools.  As you watch Jeff, think about this quote from the book Sapiens: “the average ancient forager could turn a flint stone into a spear point within minutes.”