Do you enjoy history? Food? Entertainment? Shopping local crafts? You can find all that and more at the Kutztown Folk Festival, which is always starts the Saturday before July 4th and runs through the following weekend. Founded in 1950, the festival is located in Berks County at the Kutztown Fairgrounds. While there is much that could be said about it, the Festival’s intent is to educate attendees about the rich German folk history of Berks, Lancaster, & Lehigh County.
What does this have to do with landscaping?
While I am a landscaper…I do take a few days off during this event to help my wife at her booth. It offers an opportunity for some family fun, as all children come along for some of the days. We’ve been doing this event as a family since 2011.
Here are some of our favorite parts of the festival:
There’s a huge variety of food available, some of which is authentic German (or PA Dutch, as it is often known locally). And of course there’s also some more “modern” foods served. There’s some GREAT funnel cakes, and we always get some soft pretzels too since both are close to our booth. If you arrive early, try the homefries with dry beef gravy! That’s become a tradition for us.
The “Hokiest Parade in America”
Every year on July 4th, a band leads a parade of vendors carrying samples of their wares- food, pottery, decor, soaps, the list goes on & on! An old military jeep and antique tractors bring up the back of the parade. Here’s a video of it!
There are hand painted signs throughout the fairgrounds, which explain some of the German folk customs. You can learn about the difference between the “plain Dutch” (Anabaptists such as Mennonites & Amish) or the “gay Dutch” (people sharing ethnic background and some customs, but are not Anabaptists). The vendors are happy to demonstrate their crafts and tell you how they make them… and there are 200 vendors to meet!
There’s the only known horse drawn carousel. The children’s theater. The petting zoo. Oh, and did I mention food, specifically candy? There’s plenty to entertain both children and adults! And the festival is also pet friendly, so you are welcome to bring Fido!