This year marks the 52nd anniversary of the Goschenhoppen Historians’ Authentic Pennsylvania Dutch Folk Festival. The Folk Festival is sponsored and enacted by the Goschenhoppen Historians Inc., which was formed to preserve the folk culture of the area, including the food, dress, language and practices in their purest forms.
This noncommercial event celebrates the German settlers who inhabited the northern half of the Perkiomen Creek and its tributaries in Montgomery County. The Goschenhoppen region was settled in the early 18th century by the Mennonite, Catholic, Lutheran, Schwenkfelder, German Reformed and Dunkard communities. In this region, these Germans retained the language, culture and influences of those immigrants.
Visitors to the Folk Festival will experience authentic Pennsylvania German folklife from the 18th and 19th centuries. They will witness many costumed craftsmen teaching the vanishing secrets of their arts; ropemaker, wheelwright, tinsmith, blacksmith, cooper, gardener, seamstress, needleworker, hearth cooks and more. Visiting with friendly farm animals and taking wagon rides on a horse drawn wagon are a must for both young and old. Traditional tasty refreshments such as fastnachts, shoofly pie, elderberry pie, peaches and ice cream, homemade rootbeer and raspberry schrub will tantalize the taste buds. Visitors may listen to entertaining and varied stage programs including folklife presentations, Pennsylvania Dutch dialect singing and a daily band concert. Tours of the Henry Antes House, a national historic landmark which has been restored and operated by the Goschenhoppen Historians, will be available.
This year’s theme, Gemacht Von Hand, or Made By Hand, offers visitors an opportunity to learn about the various made by hand items used daily by the Pennsylvania Dutch. Needleworkers stitching samplers and quilts, tradesmen handcrafting their wares, housewives kneading dough and making potpie noodles, the potter shaping redware, and children making cornhusk dolls. A turner’s foot pedal lathe. Discover the numerous items Made by Hand and how they were created by the Pennsylvania Germans during the 18th and 19th Century.
The 52nd Annual Goschenhoppen Folk Festival: Friday, August 10, from noon till 8 p.m., and Saturday, August 11, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Henry Antes Plantation, 318 Colonial Road, Perkiomenville, off of Route 73 near Gilbertsville. For more information visit www.goschenhoppen.org and like us on Facebook.