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Bullskin Heritage Festival offers trip back in time

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Mark Hofmann | Trib Total Media Kathy Hendricks, the vice president of the Bullskin Township Historical Society, posts a sign advertising the society's annual Bullskin Heritage Festival at the festival's location, Mt. Vernon Furnace Grounds in Wooddale, Oct. 17 and 18.

Period-accurate demonstrations, contests and homemade food will be the staples of the annual two-day Bullskin Heritage Festival.

Organizers of the festival are offering those attending a step back in time.

The festival will be held Oct. 17 and 18 on the grounds of the Mt. Vernon Furnace Area in Wooddale. The 17-year-old festival has been held at that location for the last three years.

The festival will feature colonial-themed demonstrations including blacksmiths, quilters, tinsmiths, soap makers, jewelers and woodworkers.

Kathy Hendricks, vice president of the Bullskin Township Historical Society, which sponsors the festival, said the site is in the process of being upgraded to accurately represent history as a 19th century furnace community.

Recently, a casting shed at the base of the furnace was constructed.

The casting shed is where the iron waste and slag was removed from the furnace as the good iron was separated and hardened into cast-iron bars.

Hendricks said the next addition will be a large waterwheel attached to the furnace.

Additional information will be available during the festival. There will be historic furnace talks with Jim Whetsel multiple times on both days.

Live entertainment includes The Travelin’ Roadshow Band, Taney Basinger, Acoustic Shadows of the Blue and Gray, and Eric Harvey, Chloe Dillon and Katie Painter singing the national anthem on different days.

Other activities include the Heritage Days Queen Contest with four contestants already signed up, historic displays with local artifacts and photographs, a quilt raffle, Chinese auction, daily children’s activities and various contests, including writing, photography and art.

“This is a family-oriented event,” said Bobbi Kramer, an event organizer.

Kramer emphasized all the food being sold will be handmade and includes items like pulled-pork sandwiches, hot dogs, bean soup, chili, pies on Saturday, apple dumplings on Sunday, fried dough and mountain pies.

Soda, water, coffee and hot chocolate will be sold.

Admission and parking is free behind the Bullskin Township Fairgrounds. A shuttle service will be provided for those unable to walk from the fair to the festival.

For more information, visit the historical society’s website at www.bullskintownshiphistoricalsociety.org or call 724-787-0853.

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or [email protected].

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