2014 Hay Creek Festival features living history demos, children’s activities, homemade food

Maryanna & Katelyn VerMulm of Mohton prepare food for Open Fire Cooking Demonstrations at the Hay Creek Festival.
Master Craftsman Pat Oxenford of Douglasville will demonstrate tole painting at the Hay Creek Festival.

Morgantown >> Preparations are underway for the 2014 Hay Creek Festival, the region’s premier historic and family event. This year’s theme is an extraordinary historic family adventure again taking visitors back through the 160 year life span of the iron making community. And once again, this non-commercial classic will indeed have something for every member of the family.

Set for Friday through Sunday, Sept. 5 – 7, the event is held at Historic Joanna Furnace, an 18th and 19th Century iron plantation complex. The Festival runs each day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free, continuously running shuttle buses carry visitors from the parking area to the main entrance all day 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association’s Joanna Furnace site is located three miles north of Morgantown on Route 10, with close access to both the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Route I 176.

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This 38th annual Hay Creek Festival is once again an “extraordinary historic adventure”. The scope of family-friendly things to see, do, learn and savor include traditional early crafts, the Home Crafts and Antique Market, living history presentations complete with interpreters in authentic garb, vintage working equipment and machinery, classic steam and gas engines, children’s hands-on activities, a four-square herb garden, military encampments, antique vehicles and tractors, traditional folk music presentations, homemade festive foods . . . and that is just for starters!!

New for 2014

To commemorate the fourth year of Civil War (1864), an enlarged Civil War encampment interpretation area will be open. In addition to seeing and talking with the soldiers of the 71st PA Volunteer Infantry, children will be able to participate in drills and mock firing demonstrations. Visitors will also be able to discuss Civil War tactics and mindset by meeting with a confederate soldier from Company A—4th Virginia Infantry.

There will be eight new vendors in the Home Craft and Antique Market plus over 30 of attendees’ old favorites they look for each year.

In addition to the usual historic interpretations, visitors will learn about the latest research and restoration projects which include the major program to preserve the original bosch (the smelting chamber inside the furnace stack), the use of advanced ground-penetrating radar in order to locate features and building sites which can be found by no other method and observe the restoration of the office/store porch, currently in progress.

Displays, Exhibits, interpretationsThe Early American Crafts consisting of over 75 juried period-authentic artisans including domestic crafts (spinning and fabric dying, basket making, candle-making, knitting, open-fire cooking, 18th century beer making, rug braiding, sauerkraut making, tinsel painting and more); village industry (blacksmith, broom-maker, leather bookbinding, gunsmith, pottery, woodworking, pit saw, Windsor chairs, pipe drilling, glass blowing and more).

The Open Hearth Cooking Interpretation area will again present authentic 18th Century dishes – including venison stew, homemade noodles, bread, apple pie, and peach cobbler. Open Hearth Cooking’s famous Apple Fritters, Apple Pot Pie, Irish Fried Potatoes and “chomp” will be available as samples daily.

This year’s Home Craft and Antique Market is destined to be the finest yet. To date, many returning favorites will be on hand. Among the unique offerings will be handmade redware pottery, candles and hand lotions, gourd birdhouses, soaps, wooden toys and bowls, handbags from vintage fabrics, quilted items, and unique jewelry. The Home Craft Market is a great place to start your holiday shopping.

In the Mechanical Technology arena, visitors will see a vast assortment of exhibits and presentations including early gas and steam engines/models, sawmill and threshing demonstrations, a shingle mill, water ram exhibit and registered antique cars. See operating early 19th century manufacturing machinery. Also visitors will enjoy fresh peanuts just roasted in an old-fashioned peanut roaster, a display of washing machines throughout 19th and 20th centuries and much more!!

The historic iron making complex of the Joanna Furnace CommunityFive buildings of the historic Joanna Furnace complex (blacksmith shop, blowing engine, casting house, office/store, and charcoal barn with museum will be open with costumed interpreters.

Casting demonstrations will take place daily in the recently restored casting house. See how molds were made and products were cast. The $360,000 project to restore the building required over 5,500 beaver tail tiles was supported by funds from the DCNR ($120,000) and by friends and members of the Hay Creek Valley Historical Association through the “1791 Beaver Tail Tile Campaign”.

The Charcoal Barn will continue to be one of the exhibit highlights at Joanna Furnace this year. Visitors will be able to see the restored scaled down diorama of a charcoal pit campsite as one part of the greatly enhanced museum and education center. Displays reveal the story of the people, products, and the community around Joanna Furnace. The continuing saga of authentic restoration of the historic site’s buildings adds to the non-commercial and educational value of the festival.

Student Day is Friday

Friday, September 5 is the annual Hay Creek Festival Student Day. Through a pre-registration process, all K-8 student groups will be admitted free on that day along with discounted admissions for their teachers and chaperones. As many as 1,600 public, private and home school students are expected this year to participate in Student Day activities and experience living area history on this single Friday. Regional public school, private school and home school groups are invited to participate in this fun, educational historic experience. (A Student Day Guide/registration form can be downloaded free from the festival website at www.haycreek.org.)

Children’s engaging/hands-on activities include, including an archaeology adventure, candle making, paper-making, scavenger hunts, meeting Civil War soldiers, learning basic military drills, seeing a magician and a ventriloquist on stage and much more. All these events will be available children Saturday and Sunday as well.

Entertainment on stage and throughout the groundsDuring the course of all three days, entertainment will be plentiful with music and other entertaining stage performances.

The array of weekend performers will include Marian & Friends (ventriloquist and puppeteer); Matt Miskie (folk singer/songwriter); Karen Terry Ludwig (folk songs and ballads); Randini the Remarkable (juggler, magician); Terry Strongheart and Phyllis Hummel (singers); Jay Smar (folk bluegrass tunes); Cousin Jake and Friends (Bluegrass); Damien Drego (folk songs); Chris Milanik and Frank Fraser (Classical and traditional selections on a musical saw and upright bass); Oley Valley’sManatawny Creek Ramblers (American roots music) and Jolly Tars (Nautical, Irish, traditional and historic music).

Then there is the Hay Creek foodThis is truly a feasting paradise for festival-goers! The wide menu is prepared and served by Hay Creek volunteers and numerous community non-profit organizations . . . and includes chicken pot pie, hamburgers, hot dogs, festival-favorite Mabel’s open fire cooked soups, breads with homemade apple butter, hand-dipped ice cream, funnel cakes, French fries and much more.

Breakfast anyone? The Hay Creek Pancake and Country Sausage Breakfast is served both Saturday and Sunday, from 8 to 10 a.m.

Attending the Hay Creek Festival

This event is truly, a community and regional partnership event. The Hay Creek Festival benefits the local Tri-County economy by financial returns to various participating non-profit organizations throughout the area. Over the past 10 years, the Hay Creek Valley Historical Association is proud to have contributed more than $250,000 to those local participating groups and organizations.

Family-friendly admission prices: $10 for adults, $2 for children ages 6 to 12, FREE admission for children 5 and younger. Free parking on the large easy access lot and free shuttle buses directly to the main entrance,

The Hay Creek Festival is held at Historic Joanna Furnace three miles north of Morgantown off PA Route 10. Free shuttle buses continuously move visitors from the parking area to the Festival grounds and return. For the safety of visitors, all are encouraged to park safely on the easy access lot 1 ½ miles south of the Festival grounds off route 10.

Main Festival events occur 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. all three days.

For more general festival information and for Friday, Student Day Registration Forms, visit www.haycreek.org.