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?

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26 thoughts on “The Goschenhoppen Folk Festival

  1. How fun!! I’m so glad your whole family got to go. While living in central NC, our family has enjoyed 2 things particularly: Old Salem (as in Winston-Salem), and the Renaissance Faire in Davidson, NC. Both are EXCELLENT. The Renaissance Faire is a traveling thing, so you have to go on the days they designate, but they have student days, with student rates, and it is SO worth it — 100s of booths and educational shows like glass-blowing, jousting, etc.
    Old Salem has student days also — in fact they have a homeschooling day. Take your kids on a day designated for educational activities. The buildings there are wonderful. You can eat at the Inn, and learn the history of the town.

    1. I grew up in Roanoke, and I know all about Old Salem! I went there a few times as a child — such fond memories.

  2. Thank you. Thank you for NOT including pig butchering photos.

    This looks similar to a festival that takes place close to my hometown. And I’m planning to take Annalyn to a fall festival later this year. But most recently (last Friday), we went to the Iowa state fair! It was crazy hot, but still fun!

    1. Allow me to clarify. *I* did not take pictures of the pig butchering. My husband, however, took about 50. I don’t mind watching, but some things just should not be on film.

  3. Looks like a great time was had by all. I really haven’t been to a good festival in a long time. And your pictures are lovely!

  4. That is so neat! I wonder if we have anything like that around here…I think the kids would enjoy it!

    PS You look so cute in your jeans & sandals. Love that bag too!

  5. I think that’s the festival I went to years ago when I went to summer camp for Girl Scouts. I remember the potato desserts, but I don’t remember what they were called. I think that’s when I had my first taste of funnel cake, too.

    It looks like a great festival – casual and not crowded, and friendly people. I’ll have to put that on our calendar for next summer.

    Now that I think about it, it might have been the Kutztown festival. Way to many years ago to remember!

  6. Never knew about that festival and we don’t live far. We went to Cherry Crest Farm in Ronks, PA (Lancaster area). If you have never gone you MUST go. http://www.cherrycrestfarm.com
    We’ve been going for 14 years. Best part is the added a Boomerang feature and this time was free since we had already been there once this season. Got some awesome produce. So good that the kids and I may need to take a drive back out this week for more.

  7. if we had anything like that around here it would be a redneck festival (no joke) we have fairs in the fall and when there is anything else it involves beer & fourwheelers, and mud.
    I guess the problem here where i live is there is no real “culture” that we hail from, we are a mixture of everyone who poured into east texas for the oil boom in the 1930’s! we have to travel around for culture & refinement!! it is fun though!
    I loved your pics, they are great. I am glad fashions have evolved….I like to see a bit of “form” 😉 in my mans jeans teehee

  8. I remember this festival but I’m not sure that I ever actually went. If I did go it was a lot smaller back then. I did have a friend that “worked” at it though. It looks like it was a lot of fun.

  9. That looks like it was a lot of fun! I would love to know the recipes for flavored water to! Ok, so the purse you are holding in the picture your son took…where did you get it? I saw that purse at a gift store and REALLY wanted it, but decided to think about it and pick it up the next time I was there if I still wanted it. Well the next two days that is all I thought about (ok that is not really true, but I did think about it alot!). I went back to the store and the employee in the store told me she sold it 30 minutes prior! She said she would let the owner know I was interested and if they ordered more would call me, no such luck! I have seen 3 other women with this purse around town, asked them where they got it, and they all bought them in other states! I have looked on the internet with no luck. Long story short, is there a brand or any label in the purse that could help me find it on-line?
    Ok, I win the award for the longest comment 🙂

    1. It’s an Orla Kiely, and I got it online last spring. It may not be available anymore, but she probably has similar ones. If you google Orla Kiely, you should find plenty. 🙂

  10. That brings up such great childhood memories… I used to live right down the street from where they used to hold it! If you enjoyed that try the Apple Butter Frolic the first weekend in Oct. They alot of the same things, but slightly different!

  11. I, too, must know where you got your bag. Details, please!
    I love that festival. I’ll be googling fun things like that to take my kiddos to this fall!

    1. It’s an Orla Kiely. You can google and try to find it. It may no longer be available, as it’s over a year old.

      There’s another festival coming up, a Scottish festival, in Green Lane in Sept.

  12. I am so glad you enjoyed our festival. I really enjoyed your pictures and would love to see you again next year! (I am the master flax spinner)

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