For the 42nd consecutive year, Exchange Place Living History Farm will be hosting the Fall Folk Arts Festival on its picturesque grounds at 4812 Orebank Road in Kingsport, Tennessee. This annual celebration of the traditional folk arts and the harvest season will take place on Saturday, September 27 from 10 am until 5 pm, and again on Sunday, September 28 from noon until 5 pm. Admission is $3 for adults with children under 12 admitted free. Proceeds benefit the continued restoration of the historic site which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Passing on the knowledge and skills of yesteryear to the next generation is always an important focus of the weekend and we continue that tradition as artisans such as the Overmountain Weavers Guild, basket makers, broom makers, knife makers, quilters, wood carvers, doll makers, a stone cutter and a blacksmith demonstrate their handicrafts and sell their wares. Handmade jewelry, home-made note cards, soaps. and many other useful things will be available from vendors who will be found all over the farm. The Harvest Market will abound with plants, autumn produce, and seasonal crafts. Throughout the weekend the Remnant Yuchi Nation will be demonstrating how their ancestors lived in the 18th and 19th centuries.
New this year and of interest to gardeners and homeowners will be rain barrels. The perfect way to collect and then re-use rain water in your garden or on your lawn, a simple kit containing everything needed to “build your own” – including a 55-gallon barrel, plus all required hardware and instructions – will be available for sale (cash only, please).
As always during festivals, the grounds of the farmstead will be alive with music. We will feature old favorites such as the Kingsport Community Band, flautist extraordinaire Charlotte Ellis, pennywhistle master Martha Egan, and Ken Watson playing Native American tunes on the flute. But we are also proud to announce that some new (to us) musicians will be performing, such as the Buttermilk Girls, Art and Cathy, Rabbits in the Pig Pen, and Mount Carmel residents Jerry and Beth Bailey. Check back with us closer to the event for the full lineup and schedule of performances for the weekend.
Some of our volunteers from the Eden’s Ridge Hearth Cooking Society will be hard at work in our log kitchen, demonstrating the cooking techniques and popular dishes of the 19th century, this time with a special emphasis on African-American foodways. In addition, our Junior Apprentices will be making hoe cakes and demonstrating gourd crafting. If you’d like to get involved, strong-armed stirrers are always needed around the kettle to help make apple butter. There are always activities for children, who especially love getting to meet many of the animals who make Exchange Place their home. And there is always plenty of food, including kettle corn, funnel cakes, baked goods and more.
The Scarecrow Challenge, put on by the 4-H Club, is always a popular event at the Fall Folk Arts Festival, as it encourages individuals, groups and families to continue the tradition of making a scarecrow and being creative at the same time. People interested in having their scarecrow judged should deliver it to the barn nearest to the parking lot between noon on Friday and noon on Saturday; the winners will be announced at 3 pm on Sunday.
One of Exchange Place’s most popular events every year is Witches Wynd, a Halloween-based storytelling adventure, and tickets go on sale for the first time during the Fall Folk Arts Festival. There are only a limited number of tickets sold, and they sell out quickly, so we encourage people to purchase them at the Festival. Tickets are $8 apiece and will be found at the Museum Store (located between the Roseland building and the white caretaker’s house); this year’s Witches Wynd will take place on Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25, beginning each night at 8 pm.
For more information, you may call Exchange Place at 423-288-6071, or visit http://exchangeplace.info