PA Dutch traditions at Easter on the Farm in Kutztown

Patriot photo by Lisa Mitchell Anna meets baby goats at the Easter on the Farm at the Pa. German Cultural Heritage Center in Kutztown on March 23.

Families celebrated the spring time traditions of the Pennsylvania Dutch at Easter on the Farm in Kutztown on March 23.

The Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center free event included hearth-cooking demonstrations, schoolmarm presentations; dialect lessons; fraktur, quilting, spinning, knitting, felting, blacksmith, and beer-making demonstrations; to name a few. There were also fun crafts for all ages in the Children’s Tent including egg-scratching, paper-folding, and basket-making.

In the Farmhouse kitchen, visitors could taste dandelion salad with hot bacon dressing, provided by Wos-Wit Pennsylvania Dutch Foods. Also, center volunteers were cooking over an open hearth fire, making a snack made of cottage cheese and egg. In the summer kitchen were hand-made fastnachts available for tasting, and for purchase.

The Old Time Plow Boys displayed their tractors and antique farm equipment, as well as provided the ever-popular wagon rides pulled by tractor around the center grounds.

One of the more popular attractions were the performing pigs that squeaked horns and walked over and through obstacles.

Children also crowded around a small, enclosed pen where a sheep and three baby goats enjoyed their attention. Petting was allowed, much to the joy of the young visitors.

Also, members of the Reading-Berks Guild of Craftsmen demonstrated their craft. Ray Oxenford, Douglassville, demonstrated in the working tinsmith shop, and Pat Oxenford demonstrated toleware painting.

In the schoolhouse Elaine Vardjan read a classic Easter story, The Egg Tree by Katherine Milhous, followed by a discussion of the Easter traditions of the Pennsylvania Dutch. Patrons could also sing along with Die Nei Dulpehock Sanger Chor, singing in Pennsylvania Dutchsome Easter hymns and other favorites. Songs included Der Pennsilvaani Polka, Der Oschdere Schtrutze, Der Bier Polka, and Grumbiere Supp.

Headlining musical performances was local favorite, Keith Brintzenhoff.

And, of course, the highlight of the event was the Easter egg hunt. Parents and children lined up around the hunting areas, divided into the ages 4 and younger group and 5 and older group. Each area had 500 eggs for a total of 1,000 eggs. At the word “go,” the children scrambled for eggs and within what seemed like only a minute, the hunt was over. Eggs were filled with sweets and prize eggs offered something special, donated by Reppert’s Candies in Oley.

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