September 14-15, 2013, from 10 am-5 pmCooperstown, N.Y. - A perfect blend of new attractions and trusted favorites make the 35th annual Harvest Festival at The Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown the most entertaining celebration of fall. Taking place Saturday and Sunday, September 14 and 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., this event is a regional favorite, bringing together a wide range of performers, artisans, and exhibitors.
A new Festival Tent will feature live performances and family activities such as crafts, demonstrations, story time, and contests - all under one roof. Performances include Generation CMC, a group of Congolese and Rwandan dancers (Saturday), and the Gravelyard Bluegrass Band (Sunday).
Traditions of Harvest Festival contribute to its charm. Nineteenth-century music played by Jim Kimball and Dick Bolt on the porch of Bump Tavern has added to the festival's ambiance since its beginnings in the late 1970s. Also part of Harvest Festival for nearly all its 35 years, Dickens the Clown will delight children and the young at heart throughout the museum grounds.
Animals always figure large at Harvest Festival. Take in the whole museum on a horse-drawn wagon ride. Marvel at demonstrations of dog obedience and agility. Watch a parade of champion animals from the museum's annual Junior Livestock Show. See cuddly alpacas and watch their agility in an obstacle course. An entire tent is home to these domesticated animals raised for their fiber.
Enthusiasts of historic trades won't be disappointed at Harvest Festival. Many artisans demonstrate their skills, such as the cooper showing how he creates buckets and casks. You can also learn from rope-making, spinning, and fiber art demonstrations.
Exciting additions to this year's Harvest Fest include the chance to help with harvesting potatoes and hand-scything hay in the Long Field. Children will enjoy agricultural activities that include corn shelling and grinding, grain flailing and winnowing, and 19th-century games in the schoolhouse. You'll even watch apples pressed to make fresh cider. The entire family can enjoy free carousel rides, sponsored by Matt Sohns and family.
An abundance of delicious foods from the season's harvest awaits festival-goers, such as roasted corn, sausage sandwiches, and homemade soup. Children have fun with food during apple bobbing.
A special attraction this year is the chance to learn about wild-plant identification, foraging, and cooking on Sunday afternoon from author Dina Falconi and illustrator Wendy Hollender. They will offer a tasting of a recipe from their new book, demonstrate botanical drawing, and sign copies of Foraging and Feasting: A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook.
For an up-to-date list of activities and more information, please visit FarmersMuseum.org/harvest.
Admission to Harvest Festival is included with paid museum admission: $12 adults (13+), $10.50 seniors (65+), $6 children (7-12), children 6 and under and members of the New York State Historical Association are free.
The Farmers' Museum is located at 5775 State Highway 80, Cooperstown, NY 13326.
Sponsored by Key Bank, Organic Valley, and Matt Sohns and family. This event is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.
About The Farmers' Museum
As one of the oldest rural life museums in the country, The Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown, New York, provides visitors with a unique opportunity to experience 19th-century rural and village life first-hand through authentic demonstrations and interpretative exhibits. The museum, founded in 1943, comprises a Colonial Revival stone barn listed on the National Register for Historic Places, a recreated historic village circa 1845, the Empire State Carousel, and a working farmstead. Through its 19th-century village and farm, the museum preserves important examples of upstate New York architecture, early agricultural tools and equipment, and heritage livestock. The Farmers' Museum's outstanding collection of more than 23,000 items encompasses significant historic objects ranging from butter molds to carriages, and hand planes to plows. The museum also presents a broad range of interactive educational programs for school groups, families, and adults that explore and preserve the rich agricultural history of the region.