The 67th annual Kutztown Folk Festival is history, ending this past weekend. It’s rather interesting to be involved in an event celebrating history… when the event itself has become part of local history! Last week I wrote a post introducing you to the Festival. Obviously, the festival is over so I’ll give you some reasons you really need to attend next year!
I mentioned the food last week… so let me tell you a bit more about some of the booths we were frequenting last week!
Blooming onions…fried in batter…yes, I know it’s probably not good for us…
The Kutztown Fair Association is my personal favorite. It’s become our tradition to get breakfast here each Saturday of the show. They have great breakfast sandwiches, and their homefries with dry beef gravy… simply the best! French toast is always good too, or dry beef gravy over toast. And you must try the onions with the homefries! They also have a friendly staff… and I think the one cook already knows what our order is before I give it!
Right next to the Association building is the Das Wurst Haus, which has some wonderful sausage. The smoked sausage was good, but the cheddarwurst was fantastic! And we’re raising some young fans of funnel cakes!
Barn Star Demonstration & Quilt Auction!
Barn stars are prevalent in Berks and Lehigh County, but you can also find them in Lancaster! There are many theories on their origin and purpose, ranging from “chust for nice” as a good PA Dutchman would say, to being symbols of good luck or the occult. Personally, I believe they were mainly intended for decoration, as they were being painted long before any theories about superstitious or spiritual origins were published; Hex Signs- Myth & Meaning in Pennsylvania Dutch Barn Stars by Patrick Donmoyer is a great book exploring the subject.
There were barn stars being painted during the Festival, and they were sold at the Quilt Auction.
And speaking of the Quilt Auction… I really didn’t take time to watch it, but I did stop for a few minutes. This beauty was being sold, and I believe it was the first time this quilter was selling a quilt at Kutztown. Bidding stopped at $3,500!
Educational Signs & Demonstrations
I already mentioned that the Festival is educational… here is a series of signs discussing local lore, culture, architecture, etc. This display was located near Building F, but similar signs can be found through the fairgrounds.
Besides the 200+ vendors of hand crafted items (many of whom are demonstrating their craft), there are multiple speakers on German/PA Dutch culture throughout the weekend. There’s also the glass blowing demonstration!
2016 was the 6th year we were part of the festival, and it’s been great meeting the many vendors who return each year as well as the visitors who come back year after year! Always we bring something home from fellow vendors…the children still have the tops Ed Youtz made for them last year! I hope you’ll consider attending the festival next year, and their Facebook page is a great place to follow updates!
I promise, the next blog will be focusing on landscaping…or in this case, hardscaping and the permits that might be required for a patio project!
Jeremy Martin is owner of Willow Gates Landscaping, serving Berks, Chester, Lancaster, and surrounding areas. Every July, he dons a straw hat and suspenders to join the fun at the Kutztown Folk Festival!