Community to gather for annual cornshucking frolic
by Wendy Byerly Wood Content Manager
PINNACLE — For the 22nd year, families will gather at the Hauser farm, now the Horne Creek Living Historical Farm, to socialize, enjoy music and food, play and learn, and of course, shuck corn like families would have at the turn of the 20th century.
The annual Cornshucking Frolic will be held Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with demonstrations and activities including cornshuck dolls, children’s games, beekeeping, churning butter, natural dying, basket weaving, storytelling, crocheting, chair caning, cider, apple butter and molasses demonstrations, spinning, quilting, tatting, tobacco curing, blacksmithing, cornmeal demonstrations, wagon rides, an exhibit by the 38th North Carolina Troops Co. B, cooking, woodworking, crosscut sawing, displays of antique farm equipment, cornshucking, shelling and grinding, dryhouse demonstration, fried pie demonstration, miniature horse rides, farm animals, heirloom apples, plowing, bobbin lace, and more.
“We’ve got more vendors coming in this year than we’ve had before,” said Lisa Turney, site manager for Horne Creek, a North Carolina Historical Site. “We’ve got a variety of crafts that will be highlighted.”
She said vendors this year include Pinnacle Hills Goat Milk Soap; Vinca Hills Fiber Company and Rita Dee Farms, who are partnering to sell crochet and knitted items out of yarn they have produced; K.C. Art and Design, who will have a variety of crafts from jewelry to barn quilts and art; Pyatt’s Herbs and More, who will sell dried herbs, homemade herbal products and a few historic clothing pieces possibly; Joe Aldridge, with scarves, looms to weave on and bird houses; Henderson and Spainhour, who will have quilts and throws; Textile Treasures with quilts; Customized Lockets and Jewelry; Underwood Baked Goods; Hope Ellison Baked Goods; and E & N Orchards, who will be making muscadine and scuppernong ciders into slushies and selling muscadines.
“And then some of our demonstrators are demonstrator/vendors, like the beekeepers will have honey for sale and the basket weavers will have baskets for sale,” Turney said.
Food vendors will include Horne Creek staff and volunteers with chicken stew and pintos; Heida Johnston with fried pies; Jonathan Williamston doing ice cream; and Chuck Duggins Concessions who will offer ham biscuits, coffee, hot dogs, hamburgers and curly fries.
“The food vendors put in a lot of work. That chicken stew we’ll start cooking about 6 in the morning in a big black kettle,” Turney said.
In addition to heritage demonstrations, Turney said there will be six storytellers this year.
And headlining the musical entertainment will be Lou Reid & Carolina, who are international bluegrass recording artists. The group, led by Stokes County native Lou Reid, is based out of Union Grove and has received awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association and the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America.
Lou Reid & Carolina will perform at the Hauser farmhouse from noon to 12:45 p.m. and from 2 to 2:45 p.m.
Also performing will be Jerusalem Way from 10:30 to 11 a.m.; Mountain Park Old Time Band from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m.; Beyond the Blue from 2:45 to 3:45 p.m.; and The Zephyr Lightning Bolts from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. At the visitors center, The Almost Irish Band will perform from 11 a.m. to noon.
“They have been playing here for years,” Turney said of the groups. “They are really, really good music groups.”
At the farmhouse stage, announcements and a veterans tribute will be held at 11:30 a.m. and the Rhythmic Expression clogging group will perform at 11:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m.
Those who enjoy square dancing will be able to participate in The Virginia Reel periodically during the day, and Ricky Jessup, site, interpreter, will lead the Little Kids’ Chicken Walk during the day.
“It is a lot of fun for the little kids,” Turney said of the chicken walk. “They all get in a line and get kazoos and they follow Ricky around. He hasn’t set specific times for that, but he might do it a couple of times.”
Turney said, “The cornshucking was a big event as far as traditional farming, because the farms back at that time were growing a lot of corn as a crop and usually they had so much that they were growing that it was a big job.
“So they would invite all their neighbors over to help harvest and put it in a big pile. While the men shucked the corn, the women would prepare a big meal,” she said. “So it was also a big social event. People would meet prospective mates, play music, eat and visit together. And as all the new farm machinery came out, that’s when cornshucking died out.”
Those attending the cornshucking frolic will have a chance to buy apple trees grafted from the trees in the farm’s heritage orchard. Turney said 200 grafted trees will be available for purchase. “And if we don’t have the tree they want, they can tell us what kind they want and we can graft it for them for next year.”
Also, apples harvested from the 50 or more varieties of apple trees in the orchard will be for sale. “Last year we had 50 varieties for sale, but it has not been a good year for apples with all the rain. But we will have a good variety available,” she said.
The frolic is an outdoor event, reminded Turney, who said if it pours rain the event will be canceled. Also, only service animals are allowed at the farm, and no alcoholic beverages are permitted.
“We do ask that people who attend closely supervise their children, because they are around farm equipment and we don’t want anyone hurt while they are here,” Turney said.
Entrance for the frolic will be $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 7 to 12 and free for children 6 and younger.
It is sponsored by LTD Farm & Garden in King, Classic Country 98.1 FM and the North Carolina Living Historical Farm Committee.
The farm can be reached off the Pinnacle exit of U.S. 52 by following the black and gold state historic signs. For more information, call the farm at 325-2298.
Reach Wendy Byerly Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 835-1513.
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