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Spring Garden Fair at the Exchange Place Living History Farm

May 1 @ 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on May 1, 2022 at 12:00 pm

Kingsport, TN – A true celebration of heritage farming and heirloom gardening, the Spring Garden
Fair at the Exchange Place Living History Farm is making its long-awaited return after a two-year,
COVID-enforced hiatus. Long a favorite of area gardeners — novices and experts alike — the 36 th
edition will be open to the public on Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., and Sunday,
May 1, from noon until 5 p.m., at the farmstead, located at 4812 Orebank Road in Kingsport.

The oldest garden fair in the region, the Spring Garden Fair will feature thousands of plants for sale,
focusing on heritage and natives, from old favorites to rare and hard-to-find varieties. Growers will offer
perennials, annuals, trees and shrubs, with an emphasis on herbs, natives and heirloom plants. Sharing
their knowledge about plant selection and care, Master Gardeners and other gardening experts will be
available throughout the weekend to answer questions and make recommendations. In addition, folk
and yard artisans will also be found throughout the grounds with their unique plant and garden-related
arts and crafts, while other vendors will offer sales of chicks, bird feeders, handmade soaps, pottery, tree
chimes, and much more, including a wide variety of food choices.

True to its mission, Exchange Place will offer slices of 19 th century life in almost every corner. Our
Cotswold sheep will be getting their hair cut in the ritual shearing of the sheep. T.J. DeWitt will
perform this necessary and fun chore on Saturday, April 30, between 10 am and noon, then
between 1 pm and 3 pm; and if you miss it on Saturday, he will complete the task on Sunday, May
1, between 1 pm and 3 pm. The Overmountain Weavers Guild will then take that wool and
continue their long “Sheep to Shawl” tradition of carding (cleaning, separating and straightening) the
wool, spinning it into yarn and weaving that yarn into scarves and, perhaps, other beautiful and wearable
items. All are invited to help with the carding.

The Overmountain Weavers Guild will also be prominently featured in the Burow Museum, with an
exhibit on the fiber traditions of our Appalachian region. A highlight will be antique weaving patterns
from the mid-19 th century that were discovered by our own Suzanne Burow. Also showcased will be two
antique Appalachian rocker beater looms, rarely seen nowadays, that have recently been restored and
will be in use, as members of the Guild weave curtains that will, when completed, be hung in the historic
Preston House.

A very special feature at this year’s Spring Garden Fair will be the appearance of Jennifer Hanlon. A
multimedia artist with a focus on fiber, the Johnson City resident discovered needle felting a couple of
years ago, and will be offering a workshop on Sunday, May 1, between 1 pm and 4 pm. Needle
felting is a very therapeutic craft that involves repeatedly stabbing a special type of needle into a piece of
wool to stiffen and shape it into the desired form.  The cost for this workshop is $65, which includes all
supplies and admission to the festival; a minimum of three (3) people are needed to register (adults only,
please, as the dry-felting needles are sharp!). You can register at www.hanlonscreativecorner.com,
payment will be collected at the workshop.

While the hearth kitchen restoration continues, the Eden’s Ridge Hearth Cookery Society will be
creating the kinds of foods popular in the mid-19 th century in the Cook’s Cabin and, hopefully, also
utilizing the bread oven. The Junior Apprentices, as per usual, will be in a variety of places, performing
chores and offering insights about how life was lived on an antebellum Northeast Tennessee farm. They
will also be hosting a Tennessee Dancing Gourd “spin off” competition near the Cook’s Cabin (day and
time still to be determined), while their Old-Time Band will be performing during a Maypole Dance. This
ceremony originated in ancient times and celebrated the fruitfulness associated with spring; it was
revived in the 19 th century and everyone is invited to welcome the season on Sunday, May 1, at 2 pm.
A wide variety of hands-on children’s activities will be found all around the grounds, and young’uns will
certainly want to say hello to the resident animals, including Delilah (our cow), Jenny (our donkey),
Chance (our horse), plus our numerous sheep.

As always, music will fill the air during the Spring Garden Fair, as an overabundance of local talent is
scheduled to perform throughout the weekend. A complete schedule is listed below (though it is always
subject to last-minute changes). And don't worry, if you get hungry or thirsty, baked goods, lunch,
drinks and snacks (including the ever-popular funnel cakes and kettle corn!) will be available.
Admission is $5 for anyone over the age of 12 and free for everyone else. All proceeds from
the event help with the restoration and upkeep of the site, which is proudly listed on the National
Register of Historic Places.

The Spring Garden Fair strives to be as environmentally friendly as possible with recycling,
composting, and re-using.  Visitors are encouraged to bring their own plant carriers and to bring used
nursery pots for recycling/reusing. Exchange Place is a non-profit, volunteer-run living history farm,
educational facility and regional attraction that seeks to preserve, protect, interpret, and manage the
history, heritage, and artifacts pertaining to mid-19 th century farm life in Northeast Tennessee. For more
information, please call 423-288-6071, or visit our website: www.exchangeplace.info.

— 30 —

MUSIC SCHEDULE

SATURDAY, APRIL 30 TIMES SUNDAY, MAY 1
KINGSPORT COMMUNITY BAND 10 – 11 a.m. {gates open today at noon}
STRING BREAK 11 am – 12 noon {gates open today at noon}
STATE STREET STRING BAND 12 noon – 1 p.m. CHRIS LONG
JIM ANN COUNTRY 1 – 2 p.m. RED AND GRAY
THE BUTTERNUTS 2 – 3 p.m.
JUNIOR APPRENTICES OLD-TIME

BAND

3 – 3:30 p.m. JUNIOR APPRENTICES OLD-TIME

BAND
RENAISSANCE STRINGS 4 – 5 p.m. STRAWBERRY JAM

Details

Date:
May 1
Time:
12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Categories:
, , , , , ,

Organizer

Exchange Place: Living History Farm
Phone:
(423) 288-6071
Website:
https://www.exchangeplace.info/

Venue

Exchange Place: Living History Farm
4812 Orebank Rd.
Kingsport, TN 37664 United States
+ Google Map
Phone:
(423) 288-6071
Website:
https://www.exchangeplace.info/

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