Sunday, October 13, 2019


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The 49th Goschenhoppen Folk Festival
Written by Larry Roeder, Editor

Scenes like this of the ice delivery wagon making its rounds were found throughout the day on the Antes Plantation in Upper Frederick Township last Friday and Saturday as the Goschenhoppen Historians held their 49th folk festival.

                A clear blue sky and soothing August temperatures kept visitors comfortable last Friday and Saturday at the 49th Goschenhoppen Folk Festival.  Once again more than 500 volunteers helped to prepare for and present the festival to large crowds on both days. 

                The theme for this year's Goschenhoppen Historians' event was "Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch Bolf Kunscht" (Pennsylvania-Dutch Folk Arts).  The historians shone a light, and some understanding, on the decorative lettering of fraktur and the colors and symbols of hex signs and other folk art.

                Early German settlers to Pennsylvania adorned their artwork on everything from dishes to tools and pottery to buildings.  Documents such as birth certificates and marriage certificates were adorned with lettering and images that could hang in art galleries.

                While detailing fine folk art onto plates is pleasing to the eye, what goes on the plate can be just as appealing.  The folk festival continued to offer traditional Pennsylvania Dutch foods like summer sausage, ham or sausage sandwiches, corn pie, chow-chow, vegetable soup, a wide assortment of baked goodies and much more.  I was reminded by one of the longtime festival organizers, Nancy Roan (in her 49th year volunteering at the event), that "after all, what's the value of a pretty dish if there's nothing in it?"

                For another year, there was much to see and much to experience as the accompanying photos show.  The good news is that the Goschenhoppen Historians Folk Festival will be back again next year.  That will mark the 50th anniversary of this event; one that annually brings back the images and tastes of the 18th and 19th centuries in this region.

                Bob Wood and Bill Daley, both members of the festival's organizing group, tell me that the group has already begun making plans and developing a fitting theme for next year's historic event.





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