The Goschenhoppen Folk Festival

On Saturday, we decided to take a break from our regularly scheduled programming, which usually consists of household chores and, with any luck, a nap.  Instead, we took our family to The Goschenhoppen Folk Festival at the Antes Plantation in Frederick, PA.  Despite some really bad directions in the newspaper (and the wrong location) we eventually found it.

My husband was excited because he got wind of the live pig butchering demonstration, and the kids were excited because they got wind of the funnel cake booth.  I was excited because I anticipated ample opportunity to practice my photography skillz and to people watch — two of my favorite leisure activities.  Let’s just say that men’s pants have gotten a lot more flattering over the last few centuries.

We really didn’t know what to expect as we don’t frequent these types of events.  Frankly, I expected it to be rather small and dumpy; it was anything but.  We spent three hours there, and we still didn’t see everything.

Upon arrival, they handed the children programs that listed the kids’ activities available and it also included a few pages for them to fill in.  It was very well done.  They immediately started pulling us in three different directions.

The girls both wanted to make a corn husk doll (the one thing we actually did NOT get to do that they wanted to do; we never saw the booth) and my son honed in on the tug-of-war and the hay jumping.  The older kids both tried their hands at this 18th century children’s game.

My youngest, however, was having none of that.  She wandered off to visit the chickens.

I took the opportunity to snap pictures.

I could have happily hung out by the 18th century kitchen all afternoon.  They were actually cooking.

One unexpected treat was the flavored waters. They were delicious — light and refreshing, and not too sweet. What a concept! You think we could convince the soda industry to create a drink like this? I asked if it was just watered down cool-aid, but it wasn’t. They promised that the recipes were in the newspaper that we received at the entrance, but I can’t for the life of me find them. Boohoo.

The kids loved them.  Who says they need highly sugared drinks to satisfy their taste buds?

Eventually my son asked for a turn with the camera. I think he has a future in photography, what do you think?

There was candy making…

and cigar rolling…

and wood turning…

and story telling.

This guy was a character.  We did attend the pig butchering.  He is the master butcher, and he took great enjoyment in sharing the process with his watchful audience.  No worries, I will spare you from any graphic photos.  It was incredibly informative as well as entertaining, believe it or not. I think it’s incredibly important that our kids know where food comes from and how it should be produced.  They had lots of questions, but not once did they act like it was scary or gross.

The two older kids maintained their interest, but little R finally gave up and collapsed on Daddy’s lap.

There was a mock school house, and the kids got to practice their penmanship.

We closed out the afternoon with a parade and a wagon ride.

Oh yeah, and funnel cake.  It was gone before I had the chance to turn on my camera.

Believe it or not, I have more pictures and yes, more commentary, but I have spent the better part of the last four hours writing this post and editing pictures (among 18 dozen other things, but still.)  It is time to move on.

What did you do last weekend?  Anything fun?  Ever been to a folk festival?  I highly recommend it for school-aged kids.  It was educational and fun; what more can you ask for, really?