A DOSE OF DUTCH
Celebrate the traditions and lifestyle of a unique group of settlers — the Pennsylvania Dutch. Named one of America’s top 100 events, the Kutztown Pennsylvania German Festival has a variety of fun-filled activities that will send visitors back in time. From June 29-July 7 the work of more than 200 folk artists and craftsmen will be on display, including a selection of 1,000 handmade quilts created by local artisans. Cow milking, sheep shearing, soap making and furniture making will also be featured. For entertainment, six stages will host music, clogging, storytelling and more. On the Fourth of July, you can witness the annual parade that’s been a staple of the festival for more than 50 years. Daily Mennonite meetinghouse services will be held throughout the nine-day event. Admission to the festival is $9 for adults, $8 for senior citizens and free for children younger than 12. Call (888) 674-6136 or visit <www.kutztownfestival.com>.
BASQUE IN THE GLORY
Kick off your Fourth of July weekend with the National Basque Festival. If you’re unfamiliar with Basque culture, discover this ethnic group’s customs and traditions July 4-7. Basques are inhabitants of the areas of Spain and France that border the Bay of Biscay and include the western foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains. At the festival, you may even hear an unfamiliar language, Euskara, which is unique to people of Basque descent. But you won’t need a translator to join in the fun, which starts with a United States Cycling Federation bike race on the Fourth of July. Return the next day to get your adrenaline pumping at the Running of the Bulls in downtown Elko. On the festival’s final day, you can enter a dance contest, play a game of handball or attend a Basque mass. Throughout the celebration, dancers will perform and athletes will participate in traditional Basque games. For more information, e-mail [email protected] or visit <www.elkobasque.com>.
Freshly baked goodies and live entertainment are part of the festivities at the Kutztown Festival.
ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA
Pull out your blue suede shoes and head to Asheville, NC, to hear some old-fashioned mountain music. Two festivals that bring the music of the Southern Appalachian Mountains to the public will take place this summer. First, hundreds of the region’s best performers put on a show at Shindig on the Green. Performances showcase big circle mountain dance, clogging, balladeers, blue-grass bands and songs played on a variety of Appalachian instruments. Shindig is a free event that takes place July 6, 13 and 20; Aug. 10, 17, 24 and 31; and Sept. 7. If you still need more music in your system, check out Shindig’s sister festival, Mountain Dance and Folk Festival. Entering its 75th year, the folk festival illustrates the importance of the oral tradition to the Scots-Irish immigrants who settled the area. The festival will be held at Pack Place in downtown Asheville Aug. 1-3. Tickets may be purchased by calling (828) 257-4530. For additional information on both festivals, call (800) 280-0005 or visit <www.ashevillechamber.org/music.htm>.
Need an activity to preoccupy your children this summer? Introduce them to the nation’s Native American roots with the help of the Cherokee Heritage Center. The center will host two Cherokee Summer Cultural Day Camps for children ages 8 to 12, July 8-12 and July 15-19. Traditional Cherokee games, crafts and stories will keep the little ones busy from 8 a.m. to noon. Join your campers on the final day to see what they’ve learned and to eat a tasty lunch. The registration fee for camp is $30. Call (918) 456-6007 or e-mail [email protected]
Immerse yourself in all things American at The National Folk Festival. An estimated 60,000 people will attend this 64th annual event Aug. 23-25. Shuffle your feet to authentic Cajun, mariachi, jazz, blues, polka and zydeco music in the dance tent. The all-American flavor of the festival continues with quilt-making demonstrations, ethnic-food preparation, basket making and boat-building displays. You can also learn about Maine’s agricultural, fishing and logging industries. Storytelling and hands-on activities will entertain the children. This free event will take place along the Penobscot Riverfront. Call (800) 91-MOOSE or visit <www.nationalfolkfestival.com>.
Visit Scotland without leaving the United States. When the lone piper plays a soothing melody outdoors with the Blue Mountains and wheat fields in the background, you feel as though you’ve actually been transported to the land of castles, clans and legends. But once reality sets in, you realize you’re at the annual Caledonian Games. Started in 1899, this Scottish heritage festival features sporting events, Celtic music, food and sheep dog trials. From July 13-14 you can compete in the sheaf toss, rolling-pin toss, Scottish hammer, caber toss and horseshoe tournaments. And of course, there will be golf. Join thousands of spectators and clansmen from the Pacific Northwest to celebrate Scottish tradition. On Saturday evening, a Tattoo (military marching demonstration) will be presented by area public school pipe bands. Call (541) 566-3880 or visit <www.athenacaledoniangames.org>.
From the August 2002 issue of Family Tree Magazine