Monday, August 15, 2016

Goschenhoppen 50th Anniversary

Celebrating the 50th Goschenhoppen Folk Festival

Grace, Kirsten, Melody, 2 or more

Getting Ready

I don't know. You could wear my blue dress.
It might be cooler than the red dress Lanie wore.
On the other hand you could wear my pink dress.
But that might get dirty. I wouldn't want to get anything on it.
My baking dress could work.
Will I blend in okay.
Not for Xyra's demonstration. She's 18th century. Much more to wear. But for the 19th century you'll do quite nicely.
What about this dress? It's seems nice.
It's the right century, but some might take notice of the buttons.
Oh. That's not good?
No, but you're not a volunteer so it doesn't really matter. Addy's summer plaid would be nice.
I'd be afraid of getting that dirty too.
Hey, what are you up to?
Trying to find a dress for festival.
Didn't you hear the news?
It's going to be too hot. 98 degrees and with the humidity it will be more like 110. Only Xyra is going this year.
[plops in the chair] 
Oh, no! That stinks!
There's always next year.
But THIS is the 50th anniversary. I was looking forward to sharing.
Yeah. You'll get next year. Xyra has a plan for this time.

Linney Takes on the Festival

As Melody mentioned it is hot and humid here. Way too much for any of the girls. No safe place for them either. What to do? Be like the Goschenhoppen - make do, fix it, wear it out. After setting up the butter area and starting the fire under the cauldron - yes, I still needed a fire to make hot water (I felt really bad for the women working over hearth fires all day and the blacksmith and even those with cookstoves. Yikes!) - I headed over to the tow doll area and made myself a true Goschenhoppen Girl doll to share the anniversary festivities.

Introducing Linney

Here is my finished doll with her other doll friends. 
Linney is on the left next to Maisey and her brother Husk and Towie is on the right. Don't they make a cute group?

At the Stage

Part of the living history of the festival includes performances and reports from experts on the area. Nearby Linney found this beautiful display of flowers.
Then she found the printed timeline of the Goschenhoppen Historian group. So many people involved over so many years. 
There were photo displays too.

Heading Over to Butter

Since it was after 10 we thought we should get back to our display area. On the way we stopped to watch the weaver. This is his first year at the festival. Linney was impressed by all the work he put into restoring the historians' loom.
The next stop was for a taste of homemade peach ice cream. This is where I, Xyra, first apprenticed at the festival. (My second year the ice cream lady had more help coming so I moved to butter.) The ice cream mix is in a pewter bowl. The bowl sits in a wooden bowl on a bed of ice. Salt is added to the ice. Then you put the lid on the bowl and spin the pewter bowl until the cream mixture starts sticking to the side. Then you stir it in and keep doing that until it is ready.
We made it back to butter where Linney posed with the butter bowls, paddles, and presses. 
Despite the heat we made 7 pounds of butter on Friday. Saturday morning the churn needed a bit of repair help. Luckily we are right next to gunsmithing and the men there were happy to help fix the churn.

Linney is hand sewn using linen, running stitches, whip stitches, natural stuffing of tow and cloth, and yarn. So what do you think of my Goschenhoppen Girl doll?

Best wishes,



  1. Aw, that's too bad none of them got to go, but boy do I understand. This heat is ridiculous. I ran errands a little while ago and I feel like I need a shower again. As I said to a friend, if I wanted Florida weather, I'd live in Florida!!

    1. Definitely safety first!
      There were visitors behind me from Mississippi and they were drenched too and if they were feeling the heat...

  2. We've been having crazy weather too, but the opposite. Where we are usually dying in the dry desert heat at this time of year, we've been getting rain by the bucketfuls. It's so strange. Even the insects are acting weird.
    Sad that none of the girls got to go to the festival. It looks like so much fun! I love the cute doll you made, and making butter sounds interesting. I have never heard of this festival before. :)

    ginnie /

    1. It's always the second full weekend in August. I'd like to say it's a small, local festival, but we have buses of people come from all over. The main focus is historical reenactment of 18th and 19th century home skills and trades used by the Pennsylvania Dutch inhabitants of the Goschenhoppen region.

      Sorry to hear about all your rain. It must be humid there then too. :(

    2. It's somewhat humid. It's just very odd. We never have rain. We are a desert region because of our lack of any precipitation. Now we have green grass growing in with the cactus and the rattlesnakes. We haven't had to water the garden either. Strange. :)

    3. Sounds like a treat. Probably won't stick around too long. Keep close watch for the snake in the grass. ;-)

  3. I keep thinking I should dedicate a mini doll for such may have talked me into it. Your Goschenhoppen dolls are lovely! Maybe next year, we'll tag along! :)