Derwood's 22nd Harvest Festival

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Editorial Review

Derwood’s 22nd Harvest Festival takes place on a farm that dates to the turn of the 20th century.

“It’s not just your average fall festival,” says Grace Yick, who has been working at the festival for about nine years. “We try to give the kids a real experience of what farm life might have been like for them in the early 1900s.”

That means that families can visit about 50 hands-on stations and experience how farm families survived. Learn candle dipping, canning and how to do the laundry the old fashioned way — with a washboard. Other activities include learning how to milk a cow, grind corn for chickens with a corn sheller, make a doll out of corn husks and even make (and play with) marbles. With so many stations, there usually is no wait for an activity.

Food is for sale, but many families bring picnics and spread out among the old farmhouse, barn and outbuildings. In addition to the learning stations, visitors can enjoy such standard festival fair activities as hayrides, funnel cake, music and a corn maze.

But the goal, Yick says, is “to have real quality activities and a whole variety of them and to not just be really fun but also educational.”

by Moira E. McLaughlin