By Betsy Natter
Summer fun is still going strong and August is the perfect time for several annual festivals. Whether stepping into the past and learning about our region’s cultural heritage, gathering tips and information for your home and gardens or relaxing to the sounds of today’s folk music stars there is something for everyone at one of these Montgomery County festivals.
The Farm, Home, & Youth Fair
1015 Bridge Rd., Collegeville, PA 19426
Learn all about the agricultural roots of Montgomery County at this annual fair featuring 4-H clubs throughout the county. The fair runs Thurs., Aug. 10 through Sat., Aug. 12. The fair is an opportunity for 4-H club members to display their year-long projects and answer visitor questions. Displays include livestock and animal science projects such as goats, cows, bees, rabbits and alpacas. A horse show Friday night, the parade of horse breeds and an open pet show are highlights of the weekend. The community is invited to participate in open class competition in a range of categories including homemade foods, garden projects, photography, clothing and textile or science and engineering projects. Pre-registration for the open class exhibits is strongly recommended and can be completed online.
In addition to the exhibits there are make-and-take crafts for the little ones, food vendors, children’s entertainment, pony rides, a herpetology show and the World’s Largest Sausage Patty. Admission to the fair is free, but there is a per car fee for parking. Click here for a daily schedule of events and for more details.
318 Colonial Rd, Perkiomenville, PA 18074
Step back in time and enjoy the busy days of summer on the Antes Plantation as you experience Pennsylvania German folk life in the area during the 18th and 19th centuries. The 51st annual Goschenhoppen Festival runs Fri., Aug. 11 and Sat., Aug. 12 rain or shine. This year’s festival theme is “Handwarricks Gscharr,” or tools of the trade and will include demonstrations of hackles to remove impurities from flax, schnitzelbanks used by woodworkers, a wheelwright’s traveler, a housewife’s crocks, and a turner’s foot pedal lathe. Also, experience open hearth cooking demonstrations, apple butter and scrapple making, pickling, quilting and more.
Enjoy a variety of Pennsylvania German foods at the concession stands, including fastnachts, corn on the cob, homemade peaches and ice cream and funnel cakes. Stage shows featuring folk music, children’s games and horse-drawn wagon rides are also popular attractions.
Admission to the festival is $12.00 for age 16 and over and $3.00 for ages 6-15. Parking is by donation with proceeds supporting the Upper Frederick Fire Company. The festival is a Cash ONLY event, so come prepared. For further details, visit the Goschenhoppen Historians’ website.
Philadelphia Folk Festival
Old Pool Farm
1323 Salford Station Rd., Harleysville, PA 19438
The 56th annual Folk Festival is the longest continuously running outdoor musical festival of its kind in North America. This year’s event is Aug. 17-20 and transforms a 40-acre working farm into a musical spectacular. Spend the weekend camping on site or come for just one day.
The festival is ideal for the entire family with plenty to enjoy for everyone. Children up to age 5 enter the campground for free, children up to age 11 are admitted free to the concert area, and kids ages 12-17 are eligible for reduced fee “youth tickets” when accompanied by an adult. In addition to the main stage events, Dulcimer Grove offers special programming for kids under age 12. Puppeteers, jugglers, aerialists, storytellers and hands-on crafts are also available for the young ones.
For day visitors, free parking is available within a short walk to the event site. Food will be available 24 hours a day and includes a wide array of options including Asian, Mexican, Greek, American, Veggie, BBQ, Fusion, and other fare.
Visit the Philadelphia Folksong Society’s website for a listing of the performers, show times, links to performers’ websites and sample tracks. Tickets for camping and music events can also be purchased online.