The Highway 212 Yellowstone Trail communities of Buffalo Lake, Hector, Bird Island, Olivia, Danube, Renville, Sacred Heart and Granite Falls are banding together to create the first “Follow the Yellowstone Trail: Art, Antiques and History Escape” for the weekend of Aug. 9-11.

Visitors are being encouraged to explore a variety of attractions denoted by yellow balloons along the route.

The Yellowstone Trail Alliance of Western Minnesota is co-hosting the event alongside the arts organization, Follow the Yellowstone Trail, in the interest of promoting the intersection of art and history to lift up community legacies and encourage tourism.

Bountiful landscapes, homegrown treasures, historical museums, undiscovered charms, unique art and antique treasures will all be brought together to shed light on an authentic rural American story.

Follow the Yellowstone Trail events Aug. 9-11 include:

• Friday, Aug. 9, the Follow the Yellowstone Trail weekend kicks off with “Over the Barrel: A Prohibition Musical” in Granite Falls. Beginning at 7 p.m., the historic-based walking theater tells the story of Prohibition and its author, Granite Falls Congressman Andrew Volstead.

• Art exhibits, museums, vendors and retailers will be open Aug. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. all along the Yellowstone Trail corridor, followed by a Yellowstone Trail symposium from 5-9 p.m. at Max’s Grill in Olivia. The event will feature presentations from the National Yellowstone Trail Association, the Yellowstone Trail Alliance of Western Minnesota and keynote speaker, Barry Pritchard, grandson of Yellowstone Trail champion and former local resident, Michael J. Dowling.

• Art exhibits, museums, vendors and retailers will again be open Aug. 11 from 12-4 p.m.

Historical exhibits located in museums and other sites tell the story of the Yellowstone Trail and its communities, while the Follow the Yellowstone Trail Art Crawl features local artists, live music and provides opportunities for “make and take” art projects for youth.

Individuals are also invited to take part by establishing antique, flea market or garage sales marked with yellow balloons. Initiated in 1912, the Yellowstone Trail became the first coast-to-coast auto route across the northern tier of states, serving as a precursor to the modern highway system.

It’s greatest champion is former area resident, and multiple amputee, Michael J. Dowling.

For more information on how to participate as a vendor, artist or visitor e-mail yellowstonetrailalliance@gmail, visit www.followtheyellowstonetrail.org or contact Scott at (541) 543-9975.

Tickets for the musical can be purchased at overthebarrel.bpt.me.