Hay Creek Festival September 10 – 12th at Historic Joanna Furnace

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CONTACT:     Mark Zerr, Executive Director, 610-286-0388  Email: mzerr@haycreek.org

Morgantown, PA . . . Organizers , sponsoring partners and almost 800 interpreters, craftsmen and volunteers are fine-tuning countless details for the opening of the 2021 edition of the Hay Creek Festival.  Here festival-goers will witness what a day in the 19th century Joanna Furnace community would have looked like . . .  and once again, this community event will indeed be a family experience for ages six to sixty.

Running Friday through Sunday, September 10-11-12, the 45th  annual event is held on the grounds of the historic Joanna Furnace Ironworks, an 18th and 19th Century charcoal fueled iron furnace and community. Here visitors travel through time and experience life in a rural industrial iron-making village. The interpretation timeline runs from the beginning of the furnace in 1791 up to the 1950’s. Visitors will experience the sights, sounds, aromas and activities which have long since disappeared from contemporary life.

The Festival runs each day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking is free on the festival grounds on Friday. 
Free continuously running shuttle buses will be provided from an offsite parking area from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 

The Hay Creek Festival is truly a one-of-a-kind “living history adventure”.  The exhibits and demonstrations include traditional early American crafts, a contemporary craft market, living history presentations and interpretations, vintage industrial revolution era working equipment, threshing demonstrations, a working sawmill, children’s hands-on activities, a traditional four-square kitchen herb garden, Civil War and World War II encampments, antique vehicles, steam engines and tractors, traditional folk music presentations, homemade festive foods . . .  and more!!

The “Early American Crafts” area includes domestic and village industry demonstrations of skills which were necessary for a self-sustaining rural industrial community through the 18th and 19th centuries.   Open fire cooking, food preservation and bake oven demonstrations will take place throughout the weekend.    Samples of these early American foods will be available.

This year’s “Creekside Crafts Market” will include such items as redware pottery, ceramics, dolls cloths, soaps & lotions, jewelry, woodcrafts, antiques and many home décor items.

In the Mechanical Technology area, visitors will see an assortment of early gas and steam engines, models, antique cars & tractors, sawmill and threshing demonstrations and a line shaft powering 100-year old industrial machinery in the Joanna Furnace Mechanical Technology Building.  A newly expanded World War II encampment will also be featured in this area. 

The Civil War Encampment will celebrate how soldiers lived and trained in the mid-nineteenth century.  Visitors can chat with Civil War era soldier and civilian re-enactors to learn more about that epic 19th-century time.  Reenactors will also offer a mini skirmish each day at the festival.

For the first time, visitors will be able to see Hay Creek’s latest restoration project – The Joanna Furnace Wheelwright Shop.   This “from the ground up’ restoration project began in 2019 and was completed in the spring of 2020. This new historic building houses the Parke Fleming wheelwright tool collection from Geigertown. The wheelwright shop will be used for live interpretation of the wheelwright’s activities. This building has been underwritten by an anonymous donor family of the Hay Creek Valley Historical Association.

The festival will also have a new exhibit in the Joanna Furnace Mule Stable.  Hay Creek’s new Tri-County Heritage Library committee will exhibit various artifacts and displays from the community including Grace Mines,  Col. Jacob Morgan’s home, World War II veterans and more local relics.

Friday, September 10th is designated “Student Day” at the Hay Creek Festival. In past years, as many as 1,000 students have taken advantage of Student Day activities and attended on a single Friday. Public school, private school and home school groups and co-ops are invited to participate in this fun, learning historic experience. (A Student Day registration form can be downloaded from the festival website at www.haycreek.org.)

There will be children’s activities galore throughout the weekend, including archaeological segments, candle and papermaking, early American games, Civil War marching and drilling ….. and much more.  Children should pick up their “chores list” at the festival gate which will feature all the hands-on activities at the event.  Upon completion of a variety of tasks children will be rewarded with a free wagon ride!

Then there is the food . . . truly a feasting paradise for festival goers! The wide menu is prepared and served by Hay Creek volunteers and community non-profit organizations . . . and includes chicken pot pie, hamburgers, hot dogs, turkey and roast beef sandwiches, festival-favorite Mabel’s open fire cooked soups, breads, hand-dipped ice cream, funnel cakes, French fries and so much more.  The festival will also feature homemade corn and shepherd’s pie for visitors to enjoy.  Freshly pressed apple cider will be made daily in the Joanna Furnace cider mill.  Many of the festival foods are also available to purchase to take home.

Our family-friendly  admission is $10 for adults, $2 for children ages 6 to 12, FREE admission for children 5 and younger.

The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association’s Joanna Furnace site is located three miles north of Morgantown on Route 10, with close access to both the Pennsylvania Turnpike Morgantown Interchange 298 and Route I 176.

Free continuously running shuttle buses move visitors effortlessly from the parking area to the Festival grounds and back. Buses run Saturday and Sunday only from 9:30 am to 6 pm. (All parking on Friday is on the Joanna Furnace site.)  For the safety of visitors, all are encouraged to park safely on the easy access lots just off Route 10. Main Festival events occur 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. all three days. For more information, visit www.haycreek.org .