Kutztown Festival

Kutztown Festival

Week including 4th of July
The Pennsylvania Dutch Folk Festival in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, is an annual celebration of Pennsylvania Dutch foods, crafts, and customs. Although many people identify the "Pennsylvania Dutch" with the Amish people, the Mennonites, or with the Holland Dutch, the name actually came from the Yankee pronunciation of deutsch, meaning "German." But the Pennsylvania Dutch are not simply transplanted Germans, either. Their folk culture is peculiarly American, and they encompass a number of national and religious groups.
The Kutztown Festival acquaints visitors with all aspects of Pennsylvania Dutch culture. There are special foods—such as apple butter, rivvel soup (rivvels are like dumplings), and the fruit pies which the Pennsylvania Dutch claim to have originated. Traditional artisans featured at the fair include tinsmiths, weavers, pretzel-makers, candlemakers, cigarmakers, potters, and quilters.
There are reenactments of a Pennsylvania Dutch funeral feast and demonstrations of nipsi —a complicated game that involves batting a piece of wood and then "bidding" the number of hops that the opposing team will require to get from where the wood landed back to home base. There is even a seminar on Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. One of the fair's most interesting figures is the Fraktur painter, who illuminates birth and baptismal records and book plates with bright colors and flowing scrollwork.
CONTACTS:
Kutztown PA-German Festival
P.O. Box 306
Kutztown, PA 19530
888-674-6136
www.kutztownfestival.com
SOURCES:
AmerBkDays-2000, p. 484
GdUSFest-1984, p. 158
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