Sam Luptak Jr.
New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
History was in motion as McConnell’s Mill State Park celebrated its annual Heritage Days Festival this weekend.
The festival celebrates the operational period of the park’s historic gristmill, from 1852 until 1928, with days meant to sweep visitors back into that time period.
The park was filled with displays, vendors and artisans all demonstrating their wares and selling their foods and crafts. “Abraham Lincoln” and “Gen. Robert E. Lee” were among the various costumed individuals who patrolled the midways. A Civil War encampment kept vigil, and a hay ride gave those who wished it a tour of the entire park area.
There were Native Americans in full costume. Craft vendors sold their woodworks, crocheted items, jewelry, handmade clothing, and many other handi-crafts. There was a working blacksmith who also played the bagpipes. Local cooks sold their homemade canned goods, while artists painted original works of art.
Brown’s Family Restaurant of Portersville proudly showed off its four generations of family who work there, while they judged the Best Pie Contest, which the restaurant sponsored. First prize of $100 went to Julie Gidaro for her coconut cream pie, while runners up Barb Beachum and Ginny Hall, took home $75 and $50, respectively.
Bluegrass music and other time-appropriate entertainment played on a stage all day and hundreds filled the park to enjoy the two-dayevent.
Of course, no trip to the park would be complete without a tour of the working gristmill itself, and tours were held all day as visitors lined up to see the mill in action.
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