Heritage Days on the Goshen Trail will be held on the grounds of Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, Illinois the weekend of September 29th and 30th. The Southern Illinois living history festival spans the years 1700-1840 and features demonstrations of traditional activities, period food, fife and drum corps, folk dancers and singers, children’s activities, as well as reenacters.
The 28-year-old group focuses on The Goshen Trail period. The Goshen Trail was part of the path settlers followed from the Cumberland Gap to St Louis, stretching from Elizabethtown on the Ohio River across to the Goshen Settlement south of the Alton-Godfrey area. Crossing the Mississippi River at St Louis was relatively easy compared to farther north.
Organizers of the Heritage Days event wanted to educate kids and adults about how early settlers and Native Americans lived with many hands-on activities and period demonstrations. Presenters appear in period costume.
The two-day Heritage Days festival involves individuals and civic, educational, and religious groups from throughout the community, some traveling a long distance to participate.
Among artisans demonstrating their craft will be makers of canes, soaps, banjoes, gourd crafts, baskets, candles, bows and arrows, dulcimers, silk ribbon embroidery, canoe paddles, brooms, needle art, and string dolls. There will also be ropemakers, tanners, rug braiders, potters, gunsmiths, weavers, blacksmiths, and wood carvers. Also, a working clay oven will be operated and wool dyeing will be demonstrated.
Even the food vendors at the festival will be stay true to the period, offering foods often cooked over open fires from Goshen Trail-era recipes.
Offered will be kettle potato chips, breads, potato soup, pork steaks, sauerkraut, buggalo burgers, roaster corn, root beer, ham and beans, ice cream, caramel apples, caramel corn, fish, pork skins, buffalo chili, Cornish pasties, turkey legs, pecan and fruit pies, chicken and dumplings, French onion soup, rhubarb jam, fruit fritters, and candy.
Also on sale will be mums, frsh fruit, fresh vegetables, and other fall produce.
A primitive encampment will be set up so visitors can walk among the teepees and tents, talk with praders, and buy items offered for sale.
Kids will be exposed to educational activities such as calligraphy, tin-punch, weaving, face-painting, and will get a chance to play a variety of period games. There is a $2.00 per child charge (5-12 years old) for the children’s activities.
Church services will be held on the grounds Sunday morning, Catholic services at 7:30 am, Protestant services at 8 am.
The hours are 9 am to 5 pm both days, September 29-30, 2007, rain or shine.
Admission to the Heritage Days festival is $5 for adults, $2 for student (5-12). A two-day pass is available for adults $8 and students (5-12) $3.
A shuttle bus will run from free parking areas to the festival grounds. It is handicap-accessible.