Heritage Festival will offer opportunity to step back in time

Authored by Jim Langham on Aug 27, 2010

The imaginary clock will roll back to the 1800’s on Saturday, Sept. 11, when Swiss Heritage Village once against hosts the Swiss Heritage Festival. Clothing, food, games and activities of the day will once again represent the heritage times when our Swiss ancestors came to the Berne area to settle into a new way of life.
This year’s event takes on added dimension as it all represents the 25th year of the Swiss Heritage Society and the dream of Swiss Heritage Village.
“When the sun rises over Swiss Heritage Village on Sept. 11, the atmosphere will carry back to the 1800’s,” said executive director Gretchen Lehman. “The grounds of the village will be alive to arouse the desire of the five senses.”
Lehman noted that there would be a variety of activities representing the early days of pioneer life in the Berne area. She said that visitors may be asked to shell corn with a hand crank sheller, churn butter, spin wool, use their man power to cross cut, saw wood, or stir the big black pot of apple butter in the making.
“The enactors of the 1812 U.S. Light Artillery Unit will demonstrate their three pound ball cannon with a big bang and a cloud of smoke,” said Lehman. “The Civil War unit will fire their muskets and will demonstrate amputation procedures used during that war period. Artisans will demonstrate how early settlers made rope; cut logs, washed clothes, quilted blankets and made cheese. “
The other activities include fun games for all ages, the pony pull, the saw mill demonstration, the big cider press squeeze at 3 p.m.
A variety of day long music including fiddles, dulcimers, harmonica, accordion, vocal groups and bands will be making happy music for your listening enjoyment.
Food stands will be serving pork roast, rib eye, brats, black pot bean soup, homemade pie, corn on the cob and much more.
Friday, Sept. 10, will be an educational day for 1,300 fourth grade students from an eight county area. The public is invited to Saturday’s activities beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing until 5 p.m.
Officials of the Swiss Heritage Society have been busy preparing the grounds for the day’s activities. Primary emphasis has been on improving the museum facility and enlarging and reorganizing the historical display. Among those areas featured in the museum are sports history, including highlights from the 1961-63 Berne Bears semi state basketball teams, an extensive display of military relics, plus categorical representation of the city’s religious, business, and medical areas in early history.
“We have been working hard to get this showcase of area history together,” said Lehman. “We are excited about visitors being able to see the continued expanding emphasis at the festival.”
General admission is $3 per adult and $1 for kids age 6-12.
“Come and support the Swiss Heritage Society and enjoy your day at the 22 acre outdoor village and museum,” said Lehman. “As always, this is a very family-oriented day with constant activities for all age members of the family, and activities designed for families to participate in together.”
This festival is supported with partial funding from the Arts Place, Inc and the Indiana Arts Commission and from area businesses.



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