2012-09-06 / Front Page

Two historical military camps featured at 32nd annual Southern Heritage fest

There will be several new and improved aspects to the 32nd annual Mule Day Southern Heritage Festival set for Saturday, October 13, at Callaway Plantation.

“Mule Day is getting better and better every year, and we’ve got more than ever in addition to the popular mule competitions,” said Jenny Clarke, Washington-Wilkes Chamber of Commerce Executive Director. “This year for the first time, we’ll have historical encampments from both the Revolutionary War and the War Between the States with historical re-enactors doing all kinds of authentic demonstrations and artillery pieces, plus more primitive crafters, crafts vendors, and demonstrations for the whole family than we’ve had before.”

There will also be an exhibit of a whiskey still—with water rather than whiskey, and a demonstration of how families had to hand-pump well water.

The Wilkes 4-H Club will be taking an active hand in Mule Day this year, setting up a petting zoo for children to get a hands-on look at farm animals, Clarke said. The Washington-Wilkes FBLA and Boy Scouts will also be on hand to help. “We really enjoy partnering with the schools and groups on Mule Day.”

Music will also be a part of the day, she said. “We’ve booked a gospel group called the Sunrise Trio to perform and we expect to have others soon.”

There will be a large display of antique tractors, early engines, and chain saws, along with classic cars and trucks.

In addition, she said, artisans will be crafting straw brooms, wooden bowls, pencils, wooden hinges, walking canes, homemade doll beds, doll clothing, bird feeders, homemade comforter sets, pottery, face jugs, vases, crochet items, baked goods, bottle cap art, baskets and jewelry, handmade pet fashions, soy candles, home-made soaps, and hand-made jewelry.

To show visitors how products were made in years past, she said, primitive crafters will be on hand to demonstrate rope making, chair caning, shingle making, corn shelling, making Windsor chairs, weaving, blacksmithing, soap making, plowing with mules, apple cider making, ice cream making, candle making, and yarn and thread spinning.

More food vendors and craft vendors are needed, Clarke said. Information is available at the Chamber of Commerce website, Washington- Wilkes.org, or by phone at 706-678- 2013. This year the chamber is starting a sponsorship program which will allow businesses, civic groups, and individuals to help support the event.

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