The annual Stone’s Trace Pioneer Crafts Festival, a celebration of American life prior to the 1870s, will be held on Sept. 7-8 at the Stone’s Tavern Inn historical site on Lincoln Highway, south of Ligonier.
“This is our 40th anniversary,” says Janet Sweeney of the Stone’s Trace Historical Society. “To celebrate we’ve brought in some ladies who are doing fine arts.” Embroidery, crochet, knitting, sheep shearing and many other age-old trades will be exhibited throughout the weekend.
The Stone’s Trace Regulators, a pioneer-era reenactment group, will be camped out on the south side of the site. The Regulators will demonstrate black powder weaponry and primitive archery. They are also hosting the Mountain Man Aggregate event, which includes a muzzle loading shooting skills, tomahawk and knife throwing competition.
Two Civil War reenactment groups – the 44th Indiana and 50th Virginia encampments – will be camped on the north side of site. There will be a trapper/trader area set up, as well as a field hospital and medicine wagon, and the soldiers will also load and fire a canon. Additionally, Hawk Van Lew will portray Confederate General Henry Heth, a key figure in the Battle of Gettysburg.
Plenty of musical entertainment can be heard throughout the weekend. Classic vocal and instrumental groups like the Browns, the Fraileys, and Hand Hewn. Clogging acts the Applejack Cloggers and Inclognito Cloggers will kick out a few dances.
The Shakin’ Hammer will perform old-timey string band music. Travis Gow, renowned fiddle player from Claypool, will be taking the stage on Sunday. Mark Gropp, will be walking around treating guests to bagpipe tunes and providing “the most delicious chocolate concoctions,” says Sweeney.
In addition to the chocolates, there will be no shortage of old-fashioned foods at the Pioneer Festival. Vendors will be serving fare like ham and beans, apple fritters, pork rinds and bread baked on site.
Plenty of activities for children will be going on throughout the weekend. Candle dipping, rope making, Pioneer games, a straw maze, a puppet show and much more are scheduled.
“There will be lots of people demonstrating the old arts,” says Sweeney of the festival. The event will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5 per person, free for children 12 and under, parking is free. Visit http://www.stonestrace.com for more information.