Dankfest showcases pioneer crafts

HARMONY, Pa.- The Harmony Museum presents its 31st annual Dankfest Aug. 25-26, a family festival created to preserve crafts and around-the-home skills that were part of everyday 18th and 19th century pioneer and rural life.

How did they do it? The aim of Historic Harmony, which operates the museum, has always been to answer that question so common among a public that has always known the conveniences and ease or modern life: “How In the world did they do that?”

Craft demonstrations, historical exhibits and tours, a farmer’s market, and food and refreshments are what attract people each year to Dankfest, named for harvest thanksgiving celebrations of the immigrant Germans who founded Harmony in 1804 as a religious commune.

Activities are centered in and near the diamond in Harmony’s National Historic Landmark District, where vehicle traffic is restricted for the event.

Museum tours. Museum tours are hourly, historic district walking tours are offered twice each day, and there will be an antiques sale at the 1805 Harmony Society barn now being preserved and restored.

The Harmony Society cemetery and historic 1825 Mennonite meeting house and cemetery may be reached by foot or car, while a challenging trail leads to Rapp’s Seat carved into the rock of Vineyard Hill.

Admission and hours. Dankfest admission is free, with small fees for parking and tours. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday; and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Harmony is at Interstate 79, exits 87 northbound/88 southbound (Harmony-Zelienople), about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh.

For information call Historic Harmony at 724-452-7341 or 888-821-4822.

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