Monday, October 21, 2019


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The 51st Goschenhoppen Folk Festival
Written by Larry Roeder, Editor

            The 51st annual Goschenhoppen Folk Festival was held last Friday and Saturday under near-perfect conditions.

            A blue sky and comfortable weather replaced the horrendous heat or sneaky

thunder-storms that have a tendency to claim the days in early August.

            A healthy crowd of festival goers was treated to the many standards of life in the 18th and 19th centuries of the German settlers who came to this region and made it their home.

            This year's theme, Tools of the Trade, brought several well-versed demonstrators to the central stage to exhibit and explain how they were important to the early settlers and how to use them.  In the spotlight were wheelrights, gunsmithing, harness making, and more.

            Whether you were sitting under the cover of the canopy by the stage or under the ever-expanding shade of the growing trees on the grounds of the historic Antes Plantation, it was a time to kick-back and learn about the past.

            But, it was also a time to enjoy the many Pennsylvania-Dietsch (and other) treats available.  Most of them made by the hands of the hundreds of people who volunteer at the Festival each year.

            It is a delight to attend the event each year and enjoy everything, especially the music.  From the commanding waltzes and marches performed by the Schultzville Band, to the soothing folk music coming from the strings of the Goschenhoppen Festival Fiddlers, and the angelic voice of Deana Arruda singing in the Pennsylvania-Dietsch dialect.

            One thing that I can't help notice is the growing number of young people volunteering, in full, period dress, at the festival.  You see it best every year during the "Grand Fantastical Parade" when tradesmen and women, along with dozens of young folks, march around the grounds carrying everything from the tools and products of their craft, fruits and vegetables of their plantings, and an assortment of animals.

            The interest of the volunteers is complemented by the enthusiasm of the watchers.  Everyone is having a good time.

            Next year's festival will be held on August 10 and 11.  This writer is convinced that no matter how many times you attend, there is always something new to see and learn.





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