Monday, September 25, 2017

Fillmore Old Capitol Arts and Living History Festival 2017

 Earlier in September, our local schools went on a field trip to the Fillmore Old Capitol Arts and Living History Festival. I went along as a chaperone. Fillmore, Utah was the original state capitol, chosen because it was geographically near the middle of the state. A capitol building was started, but only one wing was completed before it was decided that the state capital should be closer to where the majority of people were living, and it was moved to Salt Lake City.

This bit of history makes for a great excuse to go learn about pioneer history. We started with a presentation that included songs about natural and cultural history of Utah. It was interactive and the students seemed to enjoy it a lot.

Then we split into smaller groups, and each group rotated through four stations. Our group wanted to start with the blacksmith. We watched him make a leaf out of a simple stick of metal. It was quite interesting learning about the forge, bellows, anvil, and various tools he used.

Then we went to some Native American dancing. These Navajo dancers explained a bit about their culture and customs.

The dances were elaborate and required a lot of choreography.

Next it was time to learn about dyeing fabric using natural materials like berries, nuts, tree roots, and more. There are four stages to dyeing fabric (and unfortunately I don't remember them.)

We also went to a jewelry maker. Then the the kids had a little free time and we went into the Territorial Statehouse museum, my first time in. It had three floors of exhibits, mainly about pioneer life.

Next it was time for lunch. Nearby, the Bar "D" Wranglers were performing for a large crowd. Several senior living homes had brought their residents to the festival.

After lunch we wandered through the booth area, with the kids having fun how to choose to spend their money.

Then out came the big lincoln logs. The kids were so excited to start building! They didn't make much of a door, though, but they could all get in and out, so I guess that's what counts.

The stilts were available for a try. I gave them a try and found I was not a natural.

There were also horse-drawn carriage and stagecoach rides, which were a lot of fun.

I had wanted to explore the Fillmore area more, so the kids stayed with me while the buses loaded up and we went to some hot springs and lava tubes (future posts coming). The next morning we went back to the Festival, where it was raining. That didn't keep the kids from building more with the lincoln logs.

And I really enjoyed the musical performances. Los Hermanos de los Andes played some beautiful South American music.
And there's so much I didn't get photos of: the quilt show, the gun show, many more living history demonstrations, the delicious food booths, the second stage, and more. They hold this festival the weekend (Thursday-Saturday) after Labor Day Weekend every year, and you can learn more at the Fillmore Old Capitol Arts and Living History Festival website.

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