Homesteading Festival features classes, 50+ vendors


By David Meade

The second annual Homesteading Festival being held in Williamston’s Mineral Spring Park this Saturday (Oct. 4) will feature a variety of free classes, demonstrations, music and more than 50 vendors. Festival Organizer Rebecca McKinney, said the event is a free family-friendly day with lots of fun activities. The event will go from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Vendors will offer a wide variety of products for homesteaders, farmers, gardeners, and people interested in natural and local products.

McKinney said the Palmetto Farmers Market will not be held this Thursday because the regular vendors will be at the festival on Saturday.

They will be among a variety of vendors who will offer plants, natural gardening products, soaps, lotions, salves, pet food and treats, food preparation and preservation equipment, note cards, products made from recycled and repurposed items, wool, regular farmers market products, and many other items, McKinney said.

Food vendors will include Friends Farm and Catering, Swamp Rabbit Café and Grocery, and Pitmasters BBQ.

Vendors will also have breakfast items and coffee for sale by 8:30AM, McKinney said.

The Women’s Leadership Group from Greenville County Farm Bureau will be handing out free ice cream and educational materials from the Farm Bureau Commodity Van.

There will be music by The Blue Ridge Rounders and Big Spike Hammer, who will roam throughout the park as they play bluegrass music.

The Palmetto Area Cultural Arts Center will also feature old time music in association with the Homestead Festival.

The first West Allen Williams Old Time Musical Festival will be held from 10 am to 4:30 pm in the PACAC new home, the Artory, (former armory) located on Gossett St.

Musicians and artists will be showcasing skills from the late 1800s. (See separate story for schedule)

Free Festival Classes

9 – 10AM – Herb Walk with Robin McGee, Wild Earth Botanicals

10:30 – 11:30AM – Herbs for Winter Wellness w/Fire Cider-Making Demonstration – Robin McGee

11:30 – 12:30 – Creating a Food Meadow – Nat Bradford, Eco Art, LLC

12:30 – 1:30 – Easy Mushroom Growing Projects – Tradd Cotter, Mushroom Mountain

2:00 – 3:00 – Green Cleaning – Susan Cannon, Touch the Earth Aromatics

3:00 – 4:00 – Vine basket making – Sara Harding, Liberated Landscapes

Festival Demonstrations

10AM and 1:30PM: Friction Fire Starting – Alex Garcia, EarthSkills

10AM and 1:30PM: Raising sheep and goats – Debbie Webster, Whispering Pines

Ongoing: Making natural dyes – Mari Stuart.

PACAC Classes

The Palmetto Area Cultural Arts Center will hold related exhibitions and classes in conjunction with the Homesteading Festival.

Information and demonstrations will be offered at the Artory for Basketry, Williamston Chalybeate Spring Glazed Pottery, silhouette drawing, 19th century dance demonstrations and instruction, all will be showcased at the Artory (See separate story).

Free car washes will be offered by the Williamston Police Department from 9AM to noon during the Homesteading Festival.

McKinney, who is the Director for the SC Organization for Organic Living, said she is excited about the response the event is receiving.

The festival is sponsored by the organization in conjunction with the town of Williamston.

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