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Kutztown Folk Festival

Kutztown Folk Festival

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Click to enlargeMore than half a century ago, three professors from Kutztown University came up with the concept of educating people to the German heritage of the local Pennsylvania Dutch.

The end result — the Kutztown Folk Festival — now the oldest, continuously operated folklife festival in America.The first festival in 1950 allowed Pennsylvania Dutch families to welcome "outsiders" into their everyday life through hands-on demonstrations, crafts and foods.Even though the festival has grown to a nine-day celebration that attracted more than 135,000 visitors last year, that hands-on attitude is still central to its success.CraftsWatch, and often work with, 200 of the nation's finest juried craftsmen demonstrating and explaining their skills.

Interaction, particularly for kids, is encouraged.• Hot! Hot! Hot! Molten glass blown and shaped into works of art at eleven hundred degrees by our Glass Blowers• The Nations last three remaining professional hex sign painters are all at the Festival â€" Eric Claypoole, Bill Schuster and Ivan Hoyt.• Traditional timber framing techniques come alive with our old-fashioned barn raising.

See the timber framers turn rough logs into a finely finished building using traditional hand tools.EntertainmentSix stages of traditional folk music, dancing, and diverse entertainment including Storytelling, Tall Tales, and a wide variety of PA Dutch educational entertainment, such as PA Dutch Dialect lessons, history, religion and other cultural aspects that make the PA Dutch so unique.• Four generations of hoe-down dancers, the Lester Miller Family Dancers• Enjoy the sounds of two 19th century "impromptu" brass bands, so often a part of any community celebration.• The Fourth of July parade at the Kutztown Folk Festival has now been going on for 59 years, and has been named by many as "The Hokiest Parade In America." Come see why.FoodVisit our traditional summer kitchen and see full meals being cooked on a woodstove, and totally prepared by hand.

You can even sample some of the "good old PA Dutch cooking"a Viola Miller first introduced the world to funnel cake 58 years ago at the Kutztown Folk Festival.

Susanne Sharadin continues the tradition with this classic PA Dutch treat, making them to order and served piping hot!• Watch the daylong process to roast and slow-cook a 900-pound ox over an open fire.

Better yet, eat some for lunch!a You'll find pig snout, scrapple, sausages, tongue, pickled pigs feet and lots of other unique Dutch "treats" at the Festival Farmers Market.

Verna Dietrich and her family keep these old fashioned traditions alive and well, and serve them up to the visitors of the Kutztown Folk Festival!FolklifeSee our collection of some of the Nation's finest horse drawn wagons and sleighs, including Amish and Mennonite buggies, the PA Dutch Conestoga wagon, and even a very rare sleigh hearse.• Experience a traditional Amish wedding, Mennonite hymn singing, and traditional church services in PA Dutch dialect.• Take a tour through our traditional foursquare herb garden, the family market for herbs, food and flowers.

Learn the many traditional uses of the plants that grow all around us.• Be a part of the jury as you witness the reenactment of Suzanna Cox's prosecution and hanging, the last woman ever executed in Pennsylvania, and whose death brought about the American Appeals System, the cornerstone of our American Legal Rights today.KidsKids keep going back to play and jump in the giant haystack and traditional hay maze.

After all these years, there is still something special about shoving hay down your brother's shirt…• Kids can actually try their hand at making cider, apple butter, sauerkraut, soap, candles, and a variety of other foods and notions of the 19th century.• Without a doubt, the favorite place for kids is feeding and watching the animals at Noah's World Petting Zoo, which features not only traditional farm animals, but a variety of not so usual ones, as well.• One entire stage is dedicated to Children, featuring puppet shows, kids, sing-alongs, story telling, and a variety of other unique children's activities.QuiltsVisit America's largest Quilt Sale, featuring over 2,000 juried American made Quilts.• Purchase one of the top 20 Prize Winning Quilts at the Annual Quilt Auction, where record setting prices have often been set for unbelievably beautiful quilts at this exciting and fast paced event, always on the second Saturday of the Festival at the Main Stage.• You can learn to quilt, and add your quilted square to the Festival's Visitors Quilt; one being made every year entirely by visitors, and displayed yearly for you to see your addition to this wonderful piece of folk artwork year after year.
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