Pa. festival celebrates crafts of 18th, 19th centuries


August 04, 1991|By Dorothy Fleetwood

The Goschenhoppen Folk Festival celebrates its 25th year Friday and Saturday at the New Goschenhoppen Park in East Greenville, Pa.

The festival was started by the Goschenhoppen Historians, who found it was a good way to teach and preserve the heritage and local folk culture of the oldest existing continuously Pennsylvania Dutch community in the country. Today it is nationally recognized as an educational event for the whole family, totally devoid of commercialism.

A walk through the 10-acre park is a step back in time with more than 500 skilled and apprentice craftspeople, clad in Colonial costumes, performing 18th and 19th century crafts. Authentic tools will be used to demonstrate the more than 165 traditional crafts and an 18th and 19th century house will be on display.

The theme of this year's event is auctions of the 18th and 19th century. These auctions were major social events, with people coming from miles around. Peddlers also came to sell various wares and food. The auctions will be conducted in Pennsylvania Dutch. An 18th century auction will be held Friday at 2 p.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m. using British currency. The 19th century auctions at 4 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday will use U.S. currency. There will also be a public auction on Saturday at 3:15 p.m., when visitors can bid on items produced and donated by festival craftspeople.

A full schedule of stage programs includes demonstrations, lectures and band concerts. As for food, it will be strictly Pennsylvania Dutch; no hot dogs and hamburgers here. An old-fashioned church supper will also be available.

The event is held rain or shine from noon to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $5 for adults, free for children under 12.

The park is on Third Street (Pa. Route 29) in the town of East Greenville in Upper Montgomery County. For information, call (215) 234-8953 or (215) 754-6013.


The annual Living History Day will be be held Saturday at Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site in Alexandria, Va.

Interpretive programs will present a picture of both military and civilian life during the Civil War. Portrayals of Union and Confederate camp life will include the swearing-in of troops, a Union infantry drill, a Confederate cavalry drill and a retreat ceremony. "President Lincoln" will be on hand to review the troops at a mustering ceremony, and there will be political speeches in support of the war. Civilian life will be presented in the form of a ladies' fashion parade, period games for children and camp sutlers. Daytime activities will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Then at 7 p.m. a concert of Civil War music will be performed by the Appalachian Strings. From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. torchlight tours will be conducted of both camps.

Donations of $2 for adults, $1 for children are requested for day or evening activities. Fort Ward is at 4301 West Braddock Road )) in Alexandria, just off Interstate 395. For information, call (703) 838-4848.


Seafood lovers won't want to miss the annual Dorchester County Seafood Feast-i-val Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. at the $l University of Maryland Environmental Center at Horn Point near Cambridge.

The menu includes steamed crabs, crab cakes, homemade crab soup, fried clam strips, fried fish, corn on the cob, watermelon and other dishes. The price for an all-you-can-eat meal is $18 for adults, $9 for children under 12. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the gate. In addition there will be a live country band, craft booths and exhibits.

To reach the center take Route 343 about seven miles west of Cambridge. For information, call (301) 228-3575.


The Great Pocomoke Fair is being revived after more than 60 years. It will be held Friday and Saturday at the old fairgrounds in Pocomoke City.

Harness racing will be one of the major attractions as it was at the fairs held around the turn of the century. Racing begins both days at 5:30 p.m. There will be no starting gate; instead, horses will be led out the old-fashioned way by a local bagpiper. There will be antique cars, a fashion show of clothing from the 1920s, contests, musical entertainment, food booths and demonstrations of biscuit making, canning, quilting and harness mending.

The hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. both days. Admission is $2 for adults; $1 for children. For information, call (301) 957-2220 or (301) 957-0132.

Other attractions in the area next weekend are the Worcester County Fair at Furnacetown, the re-created 19th century industrial village near Snow Hill. Attractions include animal shows, games and contests for children and adults, a pet fair, musical entertainment and a fashion show. The hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. From 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday there will be dancing under the stars at Sturgis Park in Snow Hill. The park will also be the site of the fourth annual Canoe Jousting tournament next Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. For information, call (301) 632-1972.


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