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Bullskin Township Heritage Day returns Oct. 20

| Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, 1:58 a.m.
Mt. Pleasant Journal
Bob Kramer (left) and his wife, Bobbi Kramer, demonstrate how soap was made in colonial times at the 2011 Bullskin Township Heritage Day on Oct. 15, 2011. The Everson couple will be back at this year's installment of the annual event to be held Oct. 20. Linda Harkcom | Mt. Pleasant Journal

The Bullskin Township Historical Society is keeping art and history of the area alive through the annual Bullskin Township Heritage Day.

This is the 14th year for the event that will be held from 10 a.m. to dusk Oct. 20 — rain or shine — at the Mt. Vernon Furnace Grounds in Bullskin.

The day will be filled with demonstrating artists, activities and entertainment.

Several new attractions have been added to the event this year including an art show “Art In Old Mt. Vernon” featuring work by local artists created with the theme of Bullskin historical landmarks.

“The Historical Society wants to focus on the arts and history and by focusing on the arts it brings in the history of the area,” said Bonnie Brougher, the event's chairman.

“This way we are focusing on the old barns, the one room school house and other historical landmarks.”

There is also a children's writing contest this year in cooperation with the Bullskin Elementary School.

Students in grades 4, 5 and 6 were eligible to write a short story or a poem about a historical person or place from Bullskin Township.

Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place winners in each age group. Winning entries will be on display along with the art contest entries and photos of old Mt. Vernon Park on the covered porch of the stone cabin.

“The whole idea is to inspire the kids to want to write and to learn about history where they live,” said Bobbi Kramer, chairwoman of the children's writing contest.

Last year, the organization began honoring important groups in the community through displays inside the stone cabin. This year, Boy Scout Troop No. 164 and Junior Girl Scout Troop No. 54375 will be honored.

“It's a pretty tremendous honor especially for the Girl Scouts because they don't always feel they are recognized especially with this being our 100th anniversary,” said Bobbie Jo DeMott, leader of the Junior Girl Scouts.

Both groups will have displays in the cabin. The Boy Scouts will also participate in the opening and closing ceremonies.

The Girl Scouts will have crafts set up for the visitors to the event to enjoy working on.

“The girls have been working hard preparing for this. They are using this opportunity to work on their Bronze Award which is the highest award for a Jr. Girl Scout,” DeMott said.

There will also be lots of entertainment provided by Bullskin musicians including Eric Harvey, Matthew and Madison Wiltrout, Ben Auer, Jim Sterner and the Wash House Band.

Taney Basinger, 8, who will sing the National Anthem as she did this summer for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“They are all giving freely of their time and we are so thankful for that. It's a community working together to provide entertainment,” Brougher said.

New this year will be a half our “Open Mike” period where anyone who would like to share their talent may do so.

“It's not a contest. It's just for people who want to be heard. You can sing a song or whistle a tune. It is up to you,” Brougher said.

In addition, there will be many activities and around 20 different demonstrating artists each showing a different craft.

This will be the third year that Kramer and her husband Bob, both of Everson, will be at the festival demonstrating how soap was made in colonial times.

“We enjoy doing it because its good clean family fun. They start the festival off with prayer and they end it with prayer and everybody there is just so nice,” Kramer said.

Linda Harkcom is a freelance writer.