Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Report on Heritage Festival 2010 Meeting

Dusty D just returned from a good meeting with about 20 folks who were involved with the 2009 Heritage Fest. It was actually a wrap-up of 2009, but with plans for 2010 too. It was interesting. And a good meeting, too--Ms. Hummel did an excellent job of keeping things on-task and moving.

Dusty D felt her face get red and HOT when I was singled out to speak. Land sakes, I used to be a teacher; you'd think I could speak in front of a group. And I did, outlining my four-part plan. I showed the group the book I'd checked out of the Archives packed with terrific info about past Heritage Festivals. I passed out a handout of a diagram of the past Living History setup (at left).

Then I spoke about our four-part plan and passed out its handout (picture, below). Our area will have four things:

1. Tinderbox Man (my husband, who will cheerfully tell you "I'm a pyro," not unlike his wife). Tinderbox Man has a tinderbox containing char cloth, a flint, and a striking steel. He will be demonstrating and helping kids with making fire without matches. My sweetie was so excited when he had this idea that all evening he was looking at Youtube videos on making char cloth and making a fire. Every time I passed his laptop, there was a video on with smoke pouring out of something.

2. Old Time Clothes Washing: this will need major props and prep. That's me, in the pic, in my bonnet. Now where did I put my giant cast iron cauldron?

3. "Grandma's Trunk": a trunk full of cornhusk dolls, old tools, neat old stuff kids can handle, with a docent there to ask good teacherly questions to get 'em to think about the stuff and what modern analogs are, &c.

4. Hands-On 19th-Century Games of "Graces" and horseshoes. Dunno why I drew my hubby in a sombrero in that pic. But anyways.

Highlights of the meeting chat:

1. One raffle winner did not claim their prize. It was a loaf of bread. The unclaimed prize was not wasted.
2. Next year's fest may feature a "Duck-Cam" in the rubber ducky race. Stay tuned.
3. Home tour had 350 advance tickets and 80 day-of tix sold.
4. Bed Race: allow gurneys?--they are made to go fast and may present an unfair advantage. Could be a serious problem.
5. Have a Heritage Fest Peace Force next year in bright yellow shirts? (In response to the big fight/rush of kids that took place).
6. Animals in petting zoo were "freaked out" by teens running by them during fight.
7. Over 300 runners in Great Train Race, a great #.
8. Garbage: sponsorships for each garbage can? ROTC kids running garbage had fun. Their favorite word, repeated ad infinitum during Fest, was "JUUUUUI-CY!" As in, "You run garbage, you get JUICY." Kids found a box of almonds behind almond booth, thought it was trash, whisked it away. Turns out it was a batch with double sugar that the owner had set aside because wrong recipe. Kids ate almonds, due to garbage-running's tendency to lower one's notions of food safety standards. "When you run garbage--it's OK." Kids got dizzy, then learned almonds hadn't been garbage. Uh-oh. Almond owner found out--instead of being mad, she offered them two new cones of almonds so kids could taste the RIGHT recipe. :D

And on that happy note, the group disbanded.

Secret postscript: our area will actually have 5 things. The 5th thing involves the first person to volunteer to help us. This gentleman, whom you may (or may not) know, will be a black-frock-coated Temperance Speaker AND Patent Medicine Salesman. It's still hush-hush as to his identity. But he would be perfect in this role and is enthusiastic, or possibly just afraid of me. Anyways, that's the roundup!


Anonymous said...

I admire your love for the city and how you dedicate your time, talent and treasure to it.

BF said...

Count me in for playing Graces. I used to have all the pieces... will have to come up with a new set.

Dusty D said...

Anonymous: That is a very kind comment. I have to say that Ms. Hummel and Ms. Bennett were very encouraging. Some organizations aren't so welcoming of newbies and want to do things Their Way--but not here. So it takes a lot of people to make anything happen...not just one! :)

Dusty D said...

Ooh! BF! Now, I never pegged you as a Graces man. Live and learn. That is SO COOL! Fritz was planning on making a whole set from scratch, but if you have even some of the pieces, he could work to complete the set! I can supply ribbons, as well (big deal). :)

Would you be interested in playing "Graces" at the festival for an hour or so on either Saturday or Sunday? Just for fun. Do you happen to have period or periodish clothes by chance? We'll have some horseshoe-pitchin' too, so you can do more than one thing, just for fun.

We'll also have a very uplifting Temperance Speaker as well nearby, if all goes to plan, so in down moments you can park yourself on a haybale and listen to his edifying and instructive exhortations.

Lisele said...

I have a Quaker friend who has talked about doing his own take on re-enacting -- as a Quaker protester to the Civil War. I don't know if he's ever carried out that idea at any of the various re-enactor encampments. But I could ask him about it.

Dusty D said...

Lisele: That is fascinating. Perhaps I could ask if our Temperance Speaker could also act as a Pro-War speaker, to be challenged and heckled by your friend--that could be very interesting! Or something different according to his own preferences. It would be so neat if he could come!

Anonymous said...

Another thought/idea in regards to the heritage festival. At some passed festivals there has been tours of Highland Cemetery which I found very interesting. To take these tours a step further would be to have costume actor be at the head stone as the deceased person and tell about there life. My brother said they have done this in Nashville, TN. with great success. In addition to highlighting the well known people from the community would be some of the every day people who also contributed to this city. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Nashville Cemetery tours

Dusty D said...

Anonymous: Oooooh, wow. What a fantastic idea! I just LOVE the idea of touring Highland Cemetery and meeting the reenacted "residents." Man, whoever thought that up was brilliant!

I am definitely filing this great idea away. I wonder how I can reconcile it with being in Riverside Park throughout Heritage Fest. Hmm.

But it's such a good idea it really deserves its own event. I wonder if the effect would be greater if the reenactors all wore plain white, like simple white scrubs.

Checked the link but it didn't work, unfortunately.

Thank you for this terrific idea!

Anonymous said...

Sorry the link did not work but if you do a web search- Cemetery Tours, you'll have lot's to see.
I did not understand the all white thing?
Being in costume is what would really make it fun. Maybe some of our local actors would be interested.
I'm also not suggesting this to be some kind of October spoke fest. but more in connection to Ypsi. roots.

Dusty D said...

No worries about the link--I'm just glad you mentioned the great idea.

I meant (just a thought) that the actors reenacting the persons buried in the cemetery could all wear white. I think it would be a striking effect.

I'm sure some of the talented local actors might be interested, though they probably couldn't be compensated for their time.

cmadler said...

So, how is the Heritage Festival planning going? Are you still going to do this?