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Bullskin ready to celebrate 15th Heritage Day

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Rachel Basinger | For the Daily Courier
The 15th annual Bullskin Heritage Festival will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. until dusk. From left are local blacksmith Denny Ulery, his wife Kathy Ulery and historical society President Kim Brown.

Bullskin Heritage Day

10 a.m.: Welcome, presentation of colors and dedication of new building

10:30 a.m.: Instrumental selections by Victoria Mull

11 a.m.: First furnace talk by Jim Whetsel

11:30 a.m.: Vocals and acoustics by Eric Harvey

Noon: Circuit Riding Preacher Rev. Terry Guiste

12:45 p.m.: Puppet show by Dawn Witt

1 p.m.: Vocal selections by Taney Basinger

1:30 p.m.: Second furnace talk by Jim Whetsel

2 p.m.: Guitar and vocals by Ben Auer and Blakeley Herrilko

2:30 p.m.: Kids activities (Bull Run and Patriotic Parade)

3 p.m.: Guitar and vocals by Ben Auer and Blakeley Herrilko

3:30 p.m.: Third furnace talk by Jim Whetsel

4 p.m.: Special music

4:30 p.m.: Historical society announcements and contest winners announced

6 p.m.: Closing flag ceremony

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By Rachel Basinger
Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

It's the 15th year for the Bullskin Heritage Day fall festival organized by the Bullskin Township Historical Society, and the group is hoping for another successful event.

The group has asked all past presidents for the past 15 years to be on hand during opening ceremonies at 10 a.m. Saturday for the dedication of the newest building on the festival property, the Little Green House, which will include the placement of an honorary plaque with all of the past presidents' names.

Bonnie Brougher, one of the event organizers, said the new building will serve as the concession stand for the event, which was one thing that was greatly needed.

Some of the foods for sale at the festival on Saturday will be pulled pork, chili, ham and bean soup, hot dogs and homemade pies.

In a location separate from the Little Green House, homemade fried dough will be made and sold.

Each year, society officials honor a group of people with pictures and memorabilia that are set up inside the cabin on the property.

This year, the focus will be on the Bullskin Township Volunteer Fire Company.

“We always try to honor some group, and this year we thought of the firemen because we have some active members in our group who are still firemen,” Brougher said.

If there is a theme for the event, she said that it would be “Harvesting History.”

Artisans and crafters, including basket weaving, soap making, basket weaving, felting, fiber art and florals, will be on hand, dressed in colonial costumes and demonstrating different trades.

For the first time this year, local blacksmith Dennis Ulery will be showing off his trade.

Ulery, who lives in Bullskin Township, said he's been blacksmithing since about 2008.

“It started as a hobby after my retirement,” he said.

Brougher said the historical society discovered Ulery and his work at a flax scutching event in Stahlstown last year.

The day will include open-air entertainment throughout the event, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. to dusk and Jim Whetsel, with the historical society, will give furnace talks throughout the day that will tell of the history of the iron ore furnace on the property.

There will be children's activities at the event as well and several contests that visitors can participate in by voting, including a beautiful baby contest and an art contest

Any other festival information can be found on the historical society's website at

“We get asked all the time when Heritage Days will be held each year,” said community organizer Connie Rhodes. “People just really come to expect it and look forward to it.”

Society President Kim Brown said the atmosphere of the festival grounds, with everyone in colonial costuming, makes the day a unique and enjoyable one.

“It's just a fantastic day,” she said.

Rachel Basinger is a contributing writer.

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