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Exchange Place: 50th Fall Folk Arts Festival
September 24 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Kingsport, TN – Autumn is generally the most picturesque of seasons, but this year the color gold will be predominant at Exchange Place, as Kingsport’s Living History Farm holds its 50 th Fall Folk Arts Festival on Saturday, September 24, from 10 am until 5 pm, and Sunday, September 25, from noon until 5 pm. This celebration of pioneer arts and crafts, and the harvest season, will feature artisans demonstrating and selling a wide variety of traditional folk arts, along with autumn plants, produce and unique seasonal items. Admission is $5 for ages 12 and over, with those under the age of 12 admitted free. As always, proceeds go towards the care of the farm’s animals, and the continuing restoration and preservation of the site, located at 4812 Orebank Road in Kingsport, Tennessee and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Completely unique this year will be a Silent Auction featuring one or more baskets made especially by master weaver Joy Smith, with a base painted by Ron Russum, to commemorate this special golden milestone. And back by popular demand, Jennifer Hanlon will be offering a needle felting beginners class on Sunday, from noon until approximately 3 pm, with an emphasis on – what else? – a pumpkin. The fee of $65 includes all supplies and instruction, plus admission to the festival. A minimum of three (3) people are needed to register (adults only, please, as the dry-felting needles are sharp!). Advance registration is required at www.hanlonscreativecorner.com; payment will be collected at the workshop. The Overmountain Weavers Guild will be demonstrating weaving and spinning at several locations, and selling some of their handwoven and handspun items. As an added treat, the Burow Museum will be open, with a unique exhibit in the South Room. There you will find samples and variations woven by members from the 72 drafts which came in a box with the very first loom bought for Exchange Place. They will also be weaving one of Suzanne Burow’s favorite drafts in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Overmountain Weavers Guild. The North Room will feature yarns dyed with plants from the forests, fields, and gardens of Appalachia, and two restored rocker beater looms in action! These unique looms were donated to Exchange Place by Phyllis Dean, whose Master’s Thesis documents rocker beater looms in the area; we are hopeful that she will be able to stop by sometime over the weekend. In addition to the weavers, the historic farmstead will be filled with a great range of craftspeople, including woodworkers, potters and leather workers, plus experts in soap-making, photography, hand-crafted greeting cards, chair caning, and hand-paintings on slate. Boy Scouts will be continuing the rope tradition began by Allen Calcote about 20 years ago. Artists and other vendors that have been at the Fall Festivals for the many years will be featured guests. The Eden’s Ridge Hearth Cookery Society will be cooking at the Cook’s Cabin, making sweet potato biscuits and hoecakes to go along with fresh sorghum, as well as a few other dishes featuring the fall harvest. In addition, the Junior Apprentices will be active throughout the farmstead, displaying the variety of chores and activities typical of 19th-century farm life, such as splitting wood, tending to the garden and the animals, working in the blacksmith forge, and playing games. They will also be demonstrating gourd crafting outside of the Cook’s Cabin. And the Tri-State Basketry Guild, with a long history of teaching basketmaking to children during Exchange Place’s spring and fall events, will be setting up shop in the Schoolhouse. A minimal fee is charged for their classes, with proceeds going to help feed the farmstead’s resident animals. About that sorghum: the cane, planted earlier this year, will be harvested in a special area located behind the blacksmith’s shop. This very time-consuming task, which can be observed on Saturday, September 24, will include a hard-working mule named Maggie, making her very first appearance at Exchange Place. With the milling and cooking completed, Sunday’s activities will consist of educational explanations about the mill, the cane, and the process of making sorghum, as well as opportunities to visit the cane patch and compare sorghum cane with sugar cane to learn about the differences up close. (Please note that what we produce is for demonstration purposes only, but we will be offering for sale some 100% pure sorghum syrup, made fresh this year by the Guenther family of Muddy Pond, TN.) Children’s Chores, Crafts and Play will be scattered around the farmstead, allowing the young (along with those youthful in mind and spirit!) a chance to experience what it was like to be a child in the 19th Century. It will also include the opportunity to wander over to our 1851 barn and meet some of those animals who live here all year long, including Jenny, our very vocal donkey, plus our cow and horse. Sheep, chickens, and pigs also call Exchange Place their home and might be seen throughout the weekend. And all of this will feature a backdrop of excellent live music, provided by local and regional artists. (A tentative schedule, always subject to last-minute changes, is listed at the bottom of this release.) And the official countdown to Witches Wynd traditionally begins with the Fall Folk Arts Festival. Exchange Place’s unique storytelling adventure will be offered live again this year (after two years as an online-only experience), and tickets will be going on sale during the Festival. The dates for Witches Wynd are Friday, October 21 and Saturday, October 22, and tickets must be purchased in advance. Historically, this unique blend of macabre tales and ballads sells out quickly since only a limited number of spaces are available, so we encourage people to purchase them during the Fall Festival. Tickets are $10 apiece and will be found at the Museum Store. Volunteers are always needed, and greatly appreciated! If anyone is interested in helping out, or would like more information, please call Exchange Place at 423-288-6071, write to email@example.com, or visit our website at https://www.exchangeplace.info. Exchange Place is a living history farm whose mission is to preserve and interpret the heritage of mid- nineteenth century farm life in Northeast Tennessee. Exchange Place is a non-profit organization maintained and operated entirely by volunteers and is supported by donations, fundraisers, memberships and grants. — 30 – MUSIC SCHEDULE FOR SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 10:00 – 11:00 am KINGSPORT COMMUNITY BAND 11:00 am – noon STRING BREAK noon – 1:00 pm CHRIS LONG 1:00 – 2:00 pm RENAISSANCE STRINGS 2:00 – 3:00 pm STATE STREET STRING BAND 3:30 – 4:00 pm JUNIOR APPRENTICES OLD-TIME BAND 4:00 – 5:00 pm STRAWBERRY JAM MUSIC SCHEDULE FOR SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 1:00 – 2:00 pm JIM ANN COUNTRY 2:00 – 3:00 pm THE FLYING J’S 3:30 – 4:00 pm JUNIOR APPRENTICES OLD-TIME BAND 4:00 – 5:00 pm RICHARD PHILLIPS