The Isaac Meier Homestead, at 525 S. College St., Myerstown, will host its annual country fair this Saturday, Oct. 7, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Michelle Voydik, president of the Isaac Meier Homestead, spoke with LebTown about the fair, which serves as the sole fundraiser for the homestead.
This year’s country fair will feature 30 vendors and demonstrators, with vendors selling what they make and demonstrators showing how they made things during colonial times.
Voydik starts sending out invitations with information for the coming year’s country fair to the vendors and demonstrators by the end of December. The invitations are sent in time for the invitees to get the event approved for their organization’s schedule for the coming year.
“And then, of course, we find people later on,” Voydik said. “So, I am constantly, from January to even two weeks ago, I was inviting people.”
The 50-something-year tradition has grown from 12 or 13 vendors/demonstrators last year to 30 vendors/demonstrators this year.
“Some of our vendors talk to other people when they are at other events,” Voydik said. “And two of our vendors actually come to Maryland. So, I just keep trying to add and add just to make it a bigger event for people to come out.”
Those interested can learn more about the vendors and demonstrators on Facebook: Forbes Road Frolic, The Hometown Historian, Richland Heritage Society, Stone House History, Acorn Forge, Fikar’s Finest, Oakgrove Farm – Historical Brewing, Fritz’s Custom Woodworking, Conrad Weiser Homestead, MORIN-terpretations by SAM, Huberhaus Pottery, Richland Community Association, Froggy Valley 100.1, Matthews Public Library, and Shady Bay Designs.
Voydik said Forbes Road Frolic, a colonial music group, will be “playing on the north side of the house. They’ll be in an area. If they (event attendees) would want to bring chairs and just sit there and listen to them, they can do that.”
“And then, inside the house, we’ll be having several people giving tours of the different rooms,” Voydik said. “Also inside the house, my daughter-in-law will be cooking in the hearth and baking in the squirrel tail oven colonial recipes. … You can watch her as she’s doing that.”
Voydik and her son will cook chicken corn soup and bacon, ham and bean soup in 40-quart cast-iron kettles over a campfire. Food items will be sold in the food tent along with beverages, fried bologna sandwiches, bread, and baked goods. Sun Valley Acres, an Amish-run business, will sell ice cream.
There will be spinning, weaving, and coin displays inside the homestead. Apple cider will be made by a cider press. Instructors will teach event attendees how to throw tomahawks and cut logs with bucksaws.
Activities geared towards children will take place in the children’s area. There will be a puppet show with Mrs. Redcay from Matthew’s Public Library at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; singing with Chelsea and Grace at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.; and sticky pony races at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Throughout the day, there will be face painting for children and farm animals they can watch and pet.
The event is free and open to the public. The only costs associated with the event are at the food tent and other vendors.
When asked if the event is ADA-accessible, Voydik said, “Yeah, it would be. I mean, our sidewalk is an old … stone sidewalk. But there are people that come in wheelchairs and with walkers.” Service dogs will be permitted.
Parking for the event is located on-site as well as at a large parking lot right past the homestead if traveling south on SR 501, which Voydik informally referred to as the “Myerstown Fish Dam.”
“We’re always looking for volunteers (at the Isaac Meier Homestead),” Voydik said. The homestead is run by eight people, with most of them being her relatives.
Specifically, the homestead is looking for volunteers to help out with the annual country fair, Charter Day on the second Sunday in March, and open houses on the fourth Saturday of the month from April to August.
Also slated for this year by the Isaac Meier Homestead is Kerzenlicht Nacht on the Saturday after Thanksgiving — this year, Nov. 25 — following the Myerstown Holiday Parade. For the event, the homestead will be lit by candlelight and its fireplaces. They will serve hot apple cider and cookies as a Christmas caroling group sings in Pennsylvania Dutch and two young women play the harpsichord and the violin.
“New this year, we’re partnering with the Myerstown (Community) Library. And we’re having a historical lantern walk, which The Hometown Historian will start at the Isaac Meier Homestead, and he’ll take us on a tour around town. … You can go to the library the week before and make lanterns and bring them along,” Voydik said.
The historical lantern walk will end back at the homestead for hot apple cider and cookies.
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