Festival-goers took a step back in time at the second annual Historic Dreibelbis Farm Festival on Aug. 17.
After traveling back through a dirt lane with trees on both sides, attendees crossed over a small stream and were welcomed by a greeter in period dress. He briefly explained the history of the farm house, which has not changed since the Civil War, and provided the guests with a brochure of the demonstrations, exhibits and speakers.
“Attendance at the festival increased since last year and we had some ‘repeat customers,” said Mark Dreibelbis. “We also had double the exhibitors/demonstrators and a larger volunteer force than the previous year.”
Along with the house tours, the festival featured a look inside the Milk House with the Berks County Dairy Princess, hex signs by Eric Claypoole, a hayride, children’s games, candle-making, tools of the past, alpacas alogn with spinning and weaving, a Butcher house display and presentation, American Indian Culture presentation by Dick Frey, Berks County Civil War Hero presentation by Dave Fox, music by the Miller Brothers and more.
“The festival boasts some of the attractions of the Kutztown Folk Festival, but is less crowded and free,” said Dreibelbis. The farm site allows for an authentic presentation of PA German culture, since PA German farm life was lived out on the farm for more than 200 years. The festival is accomplished with all volunteer labor by people who are interested in preserving the culture. The site is the second oldest family farm in Berks County and the house is intact with 19th century period furnishings.”
Guests were able to walk along the nature trail and look at the barn, equipment sheds, tractor sheds and brick chicken house. All ages had a chance to step back in time and enjoy the various exhibits and activities.
How does this festival help the farm?
“The Dreibelbis Farm Historical Society, a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation, was formed to preserve and protect the historic farm and to make it available to the public for educational, historical and environmental purposes. The festival helps the DFHS fulfill its mission,” explained Dreibelbis. “The festival drew in around 300 people and included educational exhibits on PA German culture, Native American history and the local ecosystem. The festival also serves as a small fundraiser.”