The Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village (GMA) always finds a way to bring fun and excitement to learning about history. The Folklife Festival was no exception as many traveled near and far on April 6 to learn about the rural heritage and the culture of South Georgia. The Folklife Festival was an all-day event starting at 9 a.m. and ended at 4 p.m.

     As with many of their events, spectators at the Folklife Festival were able to experience rural life in the nineteenth century through activities such as taking a ride on the Vulcan Steam train, sawmill demonstrations, pine needle basket weaving, and quilt square sewing demonstrations. The festival kicked off at 11 a.m. with the ceremonial firing of the Turpentine Still for the Historic Village’s annual turpentine distillation. Participants were able to get involved with this historic process, which is central to South Georgia’s cultural heritage.

     ABAC’s Forestry Club put on demonstrations throughout the day where they showcased a number of timber sports. The club also showed audiences how to debark and hew a tree, which allowed them to teach spectators about the forestry industry.

     Many art exhibits were included at the Folklife Festival. Among these were The Twisted Stitches exhibit in the Art Gallery created by textile artist Jimmy Gainey also known as “The Quilt King.” Gainey gave tours of his exhibit as he discussed his techniques.

     The American Legacy Quilt show took place at the Folklife Festival. The show was a product of the work between the Quilter’s Guild, museum curator Polly Huff and Charlotte Kleiman’s Communications 3100 class at ABAC.

     During the Folklife Festival, the Clyatt Cabin featured an exhibit offering a history lesson on the different types of art styles and materials that were used in the nineteenth century.

     Along with the multiple exhibits and demonstrations, guests were also able to enjoy purchasing fresh produce, honey, baked and canned goods, cheese and unique crafts from the Wiregrass Farmers Market. Museum guests also had the opportunity to relax and enjoy a concert by the bluegrass band Grassically Trained.

     Those that missed their chance to enjoy the Folklife Festival will have more opportunities to attend events by the GMA in the future as they are hosting their next event, History After Dark, on May 10.

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