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Pennsylvania Dutch tradition flourishes at the Kutztown Folk Festival

Sarah Edris, 22 years old, has participated in all Kutztown Folk Festivals for the past 23 years.

Originally from More’sville, she joked that she attended the first folk festival when her mother became pregnant. Since then, she has never missed it.

“The folk festival has always been really meaningful to me. I strongly recognize it as Pennsylvania Dutch,” Edris said.

Sitting on a ladder over dozens of stalls, as a crowd of thousands slowly passed by, Edris painted in a small barn.

JEFF DOELP — SPECIAL TO THE READING EAGLE in front of Barnstar at the Folk Festival

Her black and gold symbol was new, deriving from the centuries-old tradition of barn stars that has long adorned Berks County barns.

Edris’s Barn Star is one of the countless works of Pennsylvania Dutch history and culture exhibited at the Kutztown Fairgrounds on Saturday afternoon, opening the 73rd Kutztown Folk Festival. We welcomed.

Fiddler’s constant melody of lively songs blends perfectly with the scents of fried sweets, sausages and roasted beef floating in dozens of stalls and displays.

Decorated in traditional Pennsylvania Dutch costumes, Amy Trumbauer kept the flyer hot while the funnel cake fell from the counter into the hands of hungry participants.

Stan and Michele Masibroda in Pottstown enjoyed a fresh batch of funnel cake while relaxing in a veil of hay.

“They are good. I used to make these,” said Stan Maskriboda.

Michele Masylboda said her highlights are handmade art, especially pottery.

In a nearby tent, master potter Stephen Hunter offered handmade pots, bowls and cups decorated with chicken, faces and other unique designs.

He said that in Pennsylvania Dutch, red pottery, pottery made of clay rich in red shale, was commonly used to store essentials such as corn, molasses, and whiskey.

Families flocked around the Conestoga covered wagon exhibit, and in the center of the trade fair, people entered and exited a small one-room school building.

Dozens of children gathered on one of several stages to see the sheep shearing.

This year's Kutztown Folk Festival got off to a great start. A crowd appeared at the Kutztown Fairgrounds on Saturday and enjoyed the country life! A fourth-generation sheep shearer, Chris Stitzel demonstrates the art of sheep shearing. JEFF DOELP — Special for Reading Eagle
A fourth-generation sheep shearer, Chris Stitzel will demonstrate his craft at the Folk Festival. (Jeff Duelp-Special for Reading Eagle)

The show’s star was to show how past farmers pruned the herd by Chris Stitzel first carefully trimming the wool coat using an electric shearer, but finally switching to hand tools. Lying in satisfaction.

Randy, Stitzel’s father, said his family has been reaping wool from fleetwood since 1896.

It was Magdalen Lloyd (7 years old) who saw the sheep in the spotlight.

She said her day was absolutely wonderful and her favorite part was to look at animals and paint her face with butterfly wings.

Her father, Lawrence, said the family had recently moved from Illinois to the area, and this was the first time they attended the festival.

“We made birch beer, HeySong Sarsa, etc.,” Lawrence Lloyd said. “The hexadecimal symbols are cool and I just saw all the different types of paintings.”

In the arts and crafts barn, patrons use dyes extracted from plants to create colorful wool figurines, paint on wool canvas, and hand-design felt artwork artist Linda Doucette. I have read the work of.

This year's Kutztown Folk Festival got off to a great start. A crowd appeared at the Kutztown Fairgrounds on Saturday and enjoyed the country life! Amy Tranbauer offered a hot funnel cake. JEFF DOELP — Special for Reading Eagle
Amy Tranbauer offers hot funnel cakes at the Folk Festival. (JEFFDOELP — Specializing in READING EAGLE)

Everywhere in the trade fair, there are stalls full of Pennsylvania Dutch craftsmanship, offering tole-painted metal products, rattan chairs, carved decoys, paper cutouts, bonnets, baskets, soaps and many other handmade items. It was in.

Elsewhere, four brass bands Der Doppeladler Sauerkraut picked up the trumpet and played German folk music style, which band member Bill Folk described as eclectic.

Fork said he met Leon Mall, Jeff Oxenford, and Crystal Kanmauf nearby while attending Kutztown University.

“We look forward to seeing each other (at the festival every year),” Fork said. “It helps preserve the culture.”

This year’s festival was the first festival since 2019. Postponed to 2020 and 2021 for COVID-19.

The attractions are open daily from 9am to 6pm until July 10th. For more information, please visit the Kutztown Folk Festival website at www.kutztownfestival.com.

Pennsylvania Dutch tradition flourishes at the Kutztown Folk Festival

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