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Springs Folk Festival to mark 55th season

| Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, 7:19 p.m.

The sights and sounds of fall will come alive in Somerset County's Casselman River Valley as the Springs Historical Society hosts the 55th annual Springs Folk Festival October 5 and 6 at the historical society grounds.

Byron Miller, one of the event organizers, said that the event promotes a sense of community.

“It seems to be like a homecoming weekend for many who have moved away from the area, whether they grew up here or only resided here for a short time and moved away.” he said. “It also gives those of us who have lived here all our lives to “show off” what a small community can achieve by working together.”

Farmers will be sell fall produce, including apples, cabbage, potatoes and various gourds. People can choose from many homemade foods, including vegetable soup and baked goods.

A family-style Pennsylvania German dinner will be served in the Falk Meeting House on the grounds.

The meal includes summer sausage, Dutch fried potatoes, dried corn, coleslaw, apple sauce, cottage cheese, homemade bread and cookies.

Musicians will perform gospel and bluegrass music. Clogging will be demonstrated throughout the festival.

This festival will celebrate pioneer life with demonstrations in musket firing, sheep shearing, weaving, spinning, rail splitting and blacksmithing, in addition to many other crafts.

The Springs Museum, which chronicles the Casselman River Valley's history from the late 1700s to the present, will be open for tours.

Harriet Berg, another event volunteer, has fond memories of the festival.

“I have attended and participated in the festival since its beginnings when I was 10 years old and have helped most of my years except for the time period I lived away,” she said. “I am now 64. It has helped me appreciate how my ancestors worked to continue their daily lives, and it has been good to watch the community work together.”

Miller is pleased with the way the festival has grown.

“Just the logistics of the crafts buildings, shelters, program building and food service facilities have come a long way, starting mostly in what I remember as canvas tents set up just for those two days each year and now having permanent structures,” he said.

Admission to the festival is $5. More information is available at www.springshistoricalsociety.org

Barb Starn is a freelance writer.

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