ShareThis Page

Flax Scutching Festival celebrates 106th year in Ligonier Valley

| Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Visitors will take a step back in time at the 106th annual Flax Scutching Festival Saturday and Sunday in Stahlstown.

The oldest active festival of its type in the United States, it is a celebration of Ligonier Valley's rich traditions and promises to be enjoyable for the entire family.

A variety of performers and activities are schedule for the event. “Generations of families participate in the Flax Scutching Festival,” said Marilee Pletcher, the event's chairwoman. “We have some families who have been attending for four or five generations.”

Pletcher of Stahlstown credits the hard-working volunteers for the success of the event.

“The festival has always been run entirely by volunteers; they plan all year long,” said Pletcher.

Demonstrations featuring the art of making linen from the flax plant, blacksmithing, quilting, pottery and doll-making will take place throughout the weekend.

Entertainment will include live country, bluegrass and gospel music, a children's area featuring performances by the Pittsburgh Children's Museum, vendor craft booths and displays of antique farming equipment.

Guests can experience the mid-19th century by exploring a Civil War encampment and observing the traditional mock Indian raid – which takes place at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Homemade food such as buckwheat cakes, hand-pressed apple cider and delicious desserts will be available for purchase.

The festival grounds are located at Monticue Grove along Route 711, and tickets for the event are $4 per person.

The festival will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday with a formal opening ceremony with the Rev. Anthony Hita. Saturday morning will also include the dedication of a new flag pole constructed on the grounds.

Tom DiDiano III, a member of Ligonier Boy Scout Troop 375, planned and oversaw the project as part of his requirement for becoming an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America program.

The Scout troop has been participating in the festival for a number of years and usually constructs a flag pole out of a tree to hold the American flag during their morning and evening ceremonies.

“I thought there was a better way to present the flag,” said DiDiano, who completed the project over the summer.

DiDiano said he wanted to see a more permanent fixture. The display, which includes a cement path and a light, can be seen from Route 711.

“It was a great project and he did a very nice job,” said Pletcher.

“Fiddlin' Ray” Bruckman of Ligonier will perform at 2 p.m. Saturday. Bruckman, 19, is the 2012 winner of the Pennsylvania Grand Master Fiddle Championship.

A talented songwriter, Bruckman plays a variety of stringed instruments.

Cami DiBattista is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.