Festival Offers Fun Farm Experience for the Entire Family
By Martha J. Henderson
Special Sections Editor
The Malcolm Blue Historical Society invites you to take a peek at yesterday as it hosts the 41st annual Malcolm Blue Historical Crafts and Farmskills Festival, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24-26.
One of the largest and most popular traditional festivals in the region, the Malcolm Blue Historical Crafts and Farmskills Festival offers visitors a firsthand feel for what daily life was like in the early 1800s.
Young and old alike will have the opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of life on a 19th-century farm as they enjoy a rich mixture of -history, arts and crafts, fun family -activities and plenty of traditional toe--tapping musical entertainment during the three-day event.
Located at 1177 Bethesda Road in Aberdeen, the 7.5-acre Malcolm Blue Farm itself will take center stage as festival-goers wander the grounds, tour the restored 1825 farmhouse and view historic exhibits in the Clayton-Blair Historic Museum.
As they have in years past, event organizers will bring together a diverse collection of artisans, -vendors and entertainers to display their skills, wares and talents.
Demonstrations by artisans and crafters will include -blacksmithing, weaving, wood-working, basket-making, candle -dipping, pottery and much more.
Vendors will offer a wide array of handmade items, -ranging from hand-woven rugs, handmade quilt racks and pottery to birdhouses, soaps and pumpkins. Fudge, lollipops, granola and homemade baked goods also will be available.
Storytellers will take listeners back in time, while Civil War -re-enactors will be available for informal discussions, -lectures and demonstrations of infantry and firing drills. A campsite will show -festival-goers what life would have been like for soldiers during the Civil War. A special collection of several Civil War -artifacts also will be on display in the Clayton-Blair History Museum during the -festival.
The entertainment stage at the Malcolm Blue Festival will offer a wide variety of musical -performers, including many -long-time favorites of regular festival -attendees.
Performing on the festival stage will be Matthew Bahr, April Fools, McFarland Road Band, The Ingrams and more. The Quicksilver Cloggers and the Southern Express Cloggers will delight audiences with their high-spirited dancing.
One of the most popular -activities at the annual festival is the wagon rides. Larry Morrison will be providing horse-drawn wagon rides to every festival-goer, young or old, who would like to climb aboard for a ride around the Malcolm Blue Farm.
The popular horse-drawn wagon rides, which are provided free of charge with the price of admission to the festival, -circle the Blue farm. The rides will be offered throughout each day of the -festival.
A favorite demonstration team with many regular festival attendees is Donald Thomas and his border collies. The team will give demonstrations of herding, -wearing, penning and other techniques. Thomas' dogs are true working dogs on his Jackson Springs farm. They are fully trained and respond to voice command or shepherd's whistle. How the border collies react to the various commands will be part of the demonstration at the festival.
Thomas and the dogs also will show herding, which is the management of -putting livestock where they need to be. Other demonstrations will include -precision driving, wearing and penning and loading of the sheep.
Thomas and his dogs have been a -familiar attraction at the -festival for nearly 17 years.
Members of the 26th North Carolina Infantry and Cavalry and the 1st N.C. Artillery will be in attendance during the festival this year. These groups of -military re-enactors will be available for -informal discussions on camp life, fighting -tactics and equipment maintenance.
Planned skirmishes and demonstration firings will be held on Saturday and Sunday. The artillery -cannon also will have scheduled demonstration firings.
The festival kicks off on Friday with Schoolchildren's Day. Around 2,000 children from Moore County and several -surrounding communities are expected to be in attendance. Organizers have planned a -number of -special speakers, and programs are planned to enhance the educational aspect of the festival for the schoolchildren.
Event organizers also say there will be a number of free -children's games for kids to enjoy throughout the three-day -festival. These games will include stilts, rolling hoops, corn husk dolls, marbles and writing with quill pens and ink.
Another familiar sight at the Malcolm Blue Festival is Talbert's Catering, which will once again be serving food each day of the festival, from opening to closing. Everything will be cooked fresh at the festival. Talbert's Catering will have four -cookers fired up as the staff prepares a wide variety of foods, including chopped -barbecue, back loin ribs, pork tenderloin, kielbasa sausage, chicken breasts, -hamburgers and all-beef hot dogs.
The meats are available as sandwiches or plated with baked beans, cole slaw and a roll on the side.
David Talbert with Talbert's Catering also will give demonstrations to students during Schoolchildren's Day, explaining the anatomy of the pig and showing them different cuts of meat, using one of the pigs he will be cooking during the festival.
Food and beverage concessions will be available throughout each day of the -festival.
Festival grounds will be open for the 41st Malcolm Blue Historical Crafts and Farmskills Festival from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 26.
Admission is $5 on Friday, and $5 for adults, $3 for children 12 and under with preschoolers admitted free on Saturday and Sunday.
For more information, call the Malcolm Blue Farm at (910) 944-7558, e-mail -malcolmblue@ -windstream.net or visit the farm's website at www.malcolmblue farm.com.
Martha J. Henderson can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
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