Kutztown, Pennsylvania is a small town with a lot of German tradition. So very year they hold a festival around the 4th of July to celebrate the German traditions of the Amish, Mennonite, Brethern, and Reformed Lutherans. When you arrive at the Kutztown Fairgrounds, 2camels.com tells us that you will hear “the sounds of old-time putt-putt farm engines and the oom-pa-pa of brass bands. The air fills with the oily aroma of funnel cakes and the baked goodness of homemade bread and apple dumplings”.
You will find many interesting events to keep you entertained with history, farm-life demonstrations and reenactments. Speakers give talks many different topics such as religion, family life, clothing, folk medicine, folk superstitions and holiday traditions. If you’d like to hear a Pennsylvania Dutch Dialect, then head to the Nachbarshaft Haus (Neighborhood House). There you’ll find members of the Grundsow Lodge that tell humorous stories and allow you to ask questions. At the festival, farmers demonstrate sheep shearing, blacksmithing, furniture making, and roof thatching. As a woman, I would much rather see the wool carding, spinning, and candle making. Have a love of farm equipment? Then check out the antique tractors, plows, and threshing equipment used a century ago. The cool thing is that they are still in operating condition today!
You can also attend presentations and re-enactments to learn about Pennsylvania Dutch folklore and folklife traditions. Like viewing a simple Mennonite wedding, the tragic 19th-century hanging of Suzanna Cox, and lessons in a one-room school house. You’ll really feel like you know what it was like to live back in the 19th century.
But it seems like food will be the focus of this festival. It’s a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition that meals should be scrumptious and plentiful so they take that to the level with full-course, all-you-can-eat Pennsylvania Dutch family style ham and chicken dinners, as well as a variety of home-made soups and sandwiches. But if you desire more comfort food favorites, just grab a sausage, chicken pot pie, corn fritters, funnel cakes, shoo-fly pie, and apple dumplings. The Kutztown festival also has a tradition of roasting a 1,200 pound ox on a spit over a bed of coals all throughout the day.
So, if you feel like a little German culture wrapped up in Pennsylvaia quilt, then head on over to the Kutztown Folk Festival from July 3-July 11. Admission is $12.00 for Adults, $11.00 for Seniors, Kids 12 and under are Free and the best thing of it all: FREE parking!