What is the mission of the Folk Festival?
The Goschenhoppen Historians, Inc. is organized to identify, preserve and disseminate the Pennsylvania German (Pennsylvania Dutch) folk culture and history of the Goschenhoppen region. The Folk Festival is designed as an educational family event to demonstrate various home skills and trades of the Goschenhoppen area from about 1750-1880.
Who puts on the Folk Festival?
The Folk Festival is put on by the membership of the Goschenhoppen Historians. All are volunteers.
How many people volunteer at the Folk Festival?
On average, we have about 500 volunteers. Some work in the demonstration areas showing various crafts, trades, and home skills while others volunteer in concession stands, logistical support, and office staff.
What kinds of food/beverages are served?
The Historians strive to serve only traditional Pennsylvania Dutch foods at the Folk Festival. They are part of the educational concept of the Folk Festival.
At the main Concession Stand the menu includes (but is not limited to): sausage sandwiches, ham sandwiches, summer sausage sandwiches, salads, fresh fruit, a Pennsylvania Dutch sampler platter, fresh sliced peaches and ice cream, corn pie, vegetable soup, chow-chow, red-beet eggs, applesauce, and baked limas.
Other food stands offer funnel cakes, fastnachts, apple and peach dumplings, assorted fruit pies, corn on the cob, watermelon, fresh bread and breakfast cakes, cookies, and homemade candies.
Beverages include iced tea, lemonade, vinegar punch, raspberry shrub, grape drink, homemade root beer, coffee, and cold water.
Are pets allowed?
No pets are allowed on the Folk Festival grounds. Only service animals are permitted due to the number of other animals and livestock we have on the property.
How can I volunteer?
We have an Apprentice Program for students in 6th -12th grade (click here for details). We offer them the opportunity to learn traditional skills and trades from master craftspeople and knowledgeable historians thereby preserving segments of our history.
Adults may get involved in the Folk Festival in a number of ways (click here for details). We are looking for new volunteers who are willing to learn and spend the needed time to hone the skills necessary to become a master craftsperson. Besides demonstrating a trade or home skill, other volunteers are needed at the Folk Festival. Positions need to be filled in the concessions and food stands, admission gates, set-up crews, etc.
We appreciate all those who offer to help us with all of the tasks that need to be done!
What is the clothing being worn at the Folk Festival?
The men and women demonstrating at the Folk Festival are dressed in typical everyday working garb that corresponds to the time frame and type tools used in their demonstration. Many of the veteran craftspeople own their own reproduction costumes while new volunteers may borrow from the Historians’ costume collection.
Who are the Pennsylvania Dutch?
“A minority group, essentially German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania starting in 1683. They have lacked unity among their numerous component groups so political advantage, concessions in education and local recognition of language or customs were often extinguished by passage of time, change, and advance of technology…” The Pennsylvania Dutch, William T. Parsons, 1976.
When is the Folk Festival each year?
The Folk Festival is always held the second Saturday in August and the day before.
How is the Folk Festival laid out and what kinds of demonstrations are being shown?
You will notice that most of the 18th century hearth cooking demonstrations and 18th century men’s trades demonstrations are located on the southern side of the Antes Plantation where the restored four story stone house is located. The raised bed garden and bake oven are also located there. A Revolutionary soldier’s encampment can be found near the house as well.
Pastimes, needlework, and clothing construction exhibits are found in the shady grove of trees directly behind the raised bed garden.
Most of the 19th century cookstove demonstrations, 19th century men’s trade demonstrations, farming equipment, butchering, and animal exhibits can be found on the northern side of the plantation. Food concessions and stage programs are centrally located in the heart of the property. Children’s games, horse drawn wagon rides, and book sales are also located here.
Upon entry to the Folk Festival, each visitor is given a Folk Festival guide in the form of a reproduction turn of the century newspaper, The Intelligencer. This guide includes a map of the grounds, times of the special exhibits, a schedule for the stage programs, as well as informational articles to enhance your visit. And for all elementary age children a Children's Guide to the Folk Festival will be available.