Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Best Day of the Year

***I'm sorry if this post appears in your Reader a few times- technology was not cooperating on this one!***

The best day of the year is what I call our yearly trek the annual PA Dutch folk festival in Kutztown, PA. It always does feel like the best day of the year. You can’t beat a sunny day in late June or early July, walking the fairgrounds with an ice cold birch beer in hand, bumping into people, some of whom you only see once a year and only at the festival, and enjoying the high quality crafts, entertainment, and food. This year was a bit of a challenge, as the Mister came down with a cold the day before, and my stamina is about half of what it was before going in to the hospital. When you add in the heat wave we are experiencing, and the phenomenal crowds as we went close to the July 4 weekend, it probably wasn’t our best year at the fair, but I’m confident it will still be one of the best days of the year.

Here are some things I love about the KFF. There are all kinds of people there. Folks from as far away as New York who have made the festival a family tradition, people with their dogs, Amish women walking shoeless on the hot pavement, and the locals who must work very hard all year in order to pull off ten days of fun and celebration. It’s also the one place where you can hear the PA Dutch language being spoken and turn around the find it coming out of the mouth of someone who is not visibly Amish or Mennonite, nor never has been. The fair unifies people in a way that few other events could.

The quilt barn (the only air conditioned building- something you really noticed this year) is always spectacular. People line up with cameras in hand to enter single file and walk the maze of quilted wonders, many done by hand. Some are so extremely intricate and well done, it would not be shocking to see them go for thousands of dollars. In a small way, it thrills me to think of the women who work on these quilts all year for the express purpose of selling them in the barn or entering their work into the auction. It means I’m not the only person who thinks about the festival in January!

This one won Best of Show.

The entertainment is always good too. This year we watched The Martin Family perform celtic music. Their children were all very talented, but the eleven-year old fiddle player really caught my attention.

Finally, the abundance of authentic food available is always a treat. Bratwurst? Schnitz und knepp? Roasted oxen sandwich? Okay, the roasted ox is a little unusual, but the lemonade made fresh before your eyes and homemade ice cream could satisfy anyone. It’s not your typical “fair food” even if it is home to the first funnel cake stand.


  1. That sounds like SOOO much fun - except the heat part. UGHH. I don't even like going to get the mail when it's hot, but when you're having fun I know that's secondary. What a great event - that has my name written all over it. I just checked and they have their own website and there's a thing to click to win a trip there - I'll have to keep an eye on that for next year. Love your pictures, too - way to graven their images, Monica. tsk tsk :D

  2. Ha ha Beth. If you think THAT is a graven image, I'll have you over sometime to look through our family pictures. ;)

  3. I love the new blog look, Monica! Thank you for working so hard through your sickness to make it work for all of us, Mac-maniacs and PC-people alike!

    The festival looks wonderful! I remember all your great pictures about it from last year, but why, oh why didn't I mark my calendar?! The quilts are gorgeous, and the first place quilt is especially gorgeous!


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