By TRAVIS MORSE
---- — MT. VERNON — The annual Heritage Festival at the Jefferson County Historical Village is not your typical fundraiser.
With its numerous demonstrations, craft displays, tours, and musical performances, the two-day event is more akin to a celebration of history.
It's a chance for the public to see the village at its very best, said Jamie Wheeler, director of community relations for the Jefferson County Historical Society.
“Our village is reminiscent of the late 1800s, early 1900s, (and) this event is one we have that truly brings the village to life,” Wheeler said. “You see people in costume, what they did back then. … You not only see what life was like back then, but you experience it.”
This year's festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 5 and 6 on the village grounds, 1411 N. 27th St. in Mt. Vernon.
Admission is free, but the village sells food and refreshments at the event to raise money. Organizers also encourage donations to the village.
Wheeler estimated that hundreds of people attend the annual celebration.
“It probably is our biggest draw of the year for anything we do,” Wheeler said.
Featured at the festival will be a wide variety of demonstrations and old-time crafters plying their trade.
Examples include: blacksmiths, rope-makers, weavers, flint-knappers, furniture-makers, and more. Flint knapping involves the making of stone tools.
The goal is to give visitors a realistic glimpse of what life was like at the turn of the century, Wheeler said.
“There are a lot of different time period activities going on during that two-day period,” Wheeler said.
In addition, docents in period costumes will give guided tours of the village and there will be a children's area with games for kids, Wheeler said.
The musical entertainment Saturday, Oct. 5, will include performances by the Thursday Night Thunder dulcimer group at 11:30 a.m. and the Cobb County Bluegrass band at 1 p.m.
Then, on Sunday, Oct. 6, the Vintage Jam bluegrass band will perform at 1 p.m.
Also that day, there will be a church service at 10 a.m. at the Mt. Olive Church at the village, officiated by the Rev. Ron Lash.
Lash, pastor at the Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church, said going back to worship in an old-fashioned, one-room church can be a worthwhile experience for modern Christians.
It helps them realize, he said, that worship is not determined by location, but by a person's desire to do so.
“Going back to the one-room church building allows us to see how far God has brought us,” Lash said. “With each level of progression, it's good to look back to see where you've come from.”
For more information on the Heritage Festival, contact the village at 246-0033.