MCCONNELLSBURG - Fulton County's 43rd annual Fall Folk Festival promises to be a grand one. Not only will the county show off its better-known historic sites such as Burnt Cabins, but areas of the county that are not on the usual tour routes will be on display, such as Akersville, along with the county's farming heritage and its hospitality.
Translate "hospitality" into one concept - food. As Sue Cauffman, executive director of the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, said, "People should never worry about going hungry."
Here's a sampling of the weekend's events. For a complete list, visit www.fultoncountypa.com.
Although the official festival dates are Oct. 14-15, some activities start Thursday, Oct. 13. when visitors can nosh on everything from funnel cakes and kettle corn at the Paws for Hope Thrift Shop to fresh cider and homemade ice cream at the Akersville Fall Festival
In between, visit the Barn Flea and Craft Market just north of McConnellsburg, which will feature more than 200 vendors of everything from handcrafted furniture to produce and plants and a display of antique cars and farm machinery in Akersville - and just in case hunger pangs appear, there will be plenty of food
The main event
Breakfast highlights the start of events on Friday, Oct. 14, with three breakfasts to choose from at the Asbury United Methodist Church, the Pleasant Ridge Camp which bills theirs as the "famous" one, and the Burnt Cabins Grist Mill. The first one starts at 6 a.m. and on the various menus are everything from the standard eggs and sausage to regular, blueberry, or buckwheat pancakes, to puddin', fruit, and lots of baked goods.
Friday also sees the opening of the Grease, Steam and Rust's Antique Farm Equipment Show at the Fulton County Fairgrounds, featuring "Oliver" equipment and tractors, as well as demonstrations of blacksmithing, grain threshing, broom making, lumber sawing, shingle making and straw bailing. This is a good way to see how time-consuming tasks were for our forebears, and also to show young ones what it took to operate a farm.
In case you miss anything or wish to take another look, the farm equipment event will also be held on Saturday. That day, added to the event will be a Kids Pedal Pull and a Kids Corner and Toy Show. The Farm Stock and Steam Engine Pull will be held at 6 p.m.
The Fulton County Historical Society will also hold its Fall Bus Trip - about two hours long - throughout the day. This will be a narrated tour of the quilts painted on the sides of barns and will follow the Fulton County Barn Quilt Trail's Northern Loop. (It also includes a stop to feed the cows.) There is a fee and tickets are required.
Tours of the Burnt Cabins Grist Mill also require an admission fee. "This 1840 building is located on the site of the original mill which burned down in 1765," said Greg Harnish, who with his wife, Dawn, operates campsites on the property. Explore the mill race and water flume, the 16-foot waterwheel, and the grinding stones - two sets totaling 1,500 pounds - and blending of flour.
Hungry? Head for the CM Pig Out with pulled pork and fresh baked apple dumplings on Great Cove Road, or check out the food and baked goods at the Fulton County Medical Center in the Long Term Care Activities Room.
The last of the Fulton County crocks will be available at Log Cabin Primitives along with fall and Christmas Items and local handcrafted wood pieces.
For the young ones, there will be a petting zoo, pumpkin decorating, stick horse races and snacks at the McConnellsburg FFA, across from the fire department. At the Alumni Building there will be bounce houses and a visit with Elmo.
Sports, art, history
The All Sports Museum will be open all day courtesy of the McConnellsburg/Greenhill Alumni & Friends Association. Particularly notable are memorabilia from Rosaline Hickson, a polio victim at age 15 who competed successfully in the Tokyo Special Olympics, and Clyde Barnhart who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1925 World Series. Both are from Fulton County.
The Fulton County Arts Council Art Exhibit on Lincoln Way West will display the work of local artists. Also take time to visit the Fulton House Museum with special exhibits, such as wood shaping planes from the collection of Sam Buterbaugh's, the needlework of Ruth Reeder and Betty Daniels taken off the walls of their homes, a goose wing ax, and an old wooden ballot box, among other objects. Drop by the 1793 Limestone Inn just west of McConnellsburg where the Historical Society will have a variety of items of local interest for sale ranging from art prints, maps, and publications.
Fulton County's oldest church will be open for this event, the Tonoloway Primitive Baptist Church, organized in 1745 with the present church completed in 1835. During the Civil War, it was used as a hospital for Union troops and the signatures of many of the men can still be seen on the inside walls.
Dinner, dessert, breakfast
Choose dinner at the FOVA/VFW Post of ham potpie, steamed shrimp, Delmonico, Black Diamond, and ribeye steaks or try the roast beef at the Hustontown Volunteer Fire Company and then enjoy a game or two of bingo at the MeConnellsburg Volunteer Fire Company with "Big " cash payouts.
A highlight of the annual Festival is the Apple Butter Boil organized by the Green HiIl Sewing Club. The aroma of all those flavorful apples will whet your appetite for some of their apple dumplings also. The ladies start cooking at 4 a.m.
Saturday, take advantage of five breakfasts, one of which is no charge at the Cito United Methodist Church, but donations will be appreciated..
Music and a parade
Drop over to Akersville again to list to some bluegrass music or stop in Hustontown to visit Trail End Woodcrafts with its unique intarsia artworks, wooden Christmas Tree ornaments, and Solar Flowers, or check primitive and vintage Christmas items at The Yankee Mercantile in McConnellsburg.
The Old-Time Parade begins at 10:30 a.m. in downtown McConnellsburg, so be sure to find a good vantage point from which to see it. The line of march extends from 1st Street and Lincoln Way West to the fairgrounds.
After a hearty dinner offered at several sites, the Hustontown Volunteer Fire Company will hold an open stage for anyone who wants to show off their musical talents, and there will be a dance at the FOVA/VFW Post for members and guests starting at 8 p.m.
Sunday morning there will be several church services, including a nondenominational one at the Fairgrounds. The Grease, Steam and Rust's Farm Toy Show will start at 10 a.m. and the antique tractor pull an hour later, followed by a 4 p.m. raffle.
Sunday is also a perfect day to catch any exhibits that might have been missed or to take a second look at those of most interest.