Sunday, August 14, 2016

Cherry Fair in Historic Schaefferstown

Being in a fairly rural area, there's almost always something farming or food-related going on locally, whether it's corn cobs, apples, melons or pumpkin related.

Back in June, we found a Cherry Fair going on in a place called "Historic Schaefferstown", a 30 minute "scenic" drive from home.  It was a traditional cherry fair, celebrating the cherry harvest, along with an "Early American Craft Show" with lots of artisans and demonstrators dressed up in historic garb.

The cherry fair has traditionally been held in Schaefferstown since the late 1700s, when farmers and their families would gather in the village square to sell seasonal cherries and other produce and catch up on local gossip.  This was held at Alexander Schaeffer House, an 18th century house on an 85 acre farm.

There was a lot to see, including exploring the old farm buildings and contents, seeing local craftspeople at work (eg weaving, pottery, quilting, scherenschnitte (paper cutting), lace making and blacksmithing), watching period farming demonstrations and listening to 17th and 18th century musicians, and of course, enjoying the cherries in all their glory, from ice cream and pancakes to cherry wood products.

Sadly, we missed the annual "sit and spit" cherry pit competition (?) and the squirrel tail oven baking (??).  Either way, another interesting insight into the history and culture of Pennsylvanian Germans.

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