Piney Woods Heritage Festival

Published 1:07 am Sunday, November 9, 2008

Back by popular demand, the Piney Woods Heritage Festival will return to Crosby Arboretum Fridayand Saturday.

The sixth annual, two-day event will feature indigenous crafts, history, music, dancing and more, all along the Arboretum’s wooded trails.

“The festival is designed to bring back memories of the past,” said Patricia Drackett, Senior Curator for the Arboretum.

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It’s also about teaching people the lost art of heritage crafts — just in time for Christmas. “If we do not preserve these art forms, we will lose them,” she said.

This year’s heritage celebration will focus on blacksmithing, Native American crafts, dollmaking, furniture making, soapmaking, beekeeping, weaving and spinning, quilting, fly fishing and much, much more. Guests can look forward to bluegrass music, clogging and storytelling.

Local groups such as the Poplarville Storytellers, Picayune Piecemakers Quilt Guild, Pineywoods Cloggers, Greater Picayune Arts Council, The Picayune Writers’ Guild, The Pearl River County Historical Society, The Pearl River Chapter of the Mississippi Archaeological Association and others, will be on hand to lend hometown flavor to the festivities.

On Friday, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., area school groups are invited to attend. This is a free day for school groups only and pre-registration is required. “We have 900 children registered already,” said Drackett.

On Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., the event will be open to the public. Admission is free for members and $5 adult, $3 children under 12, for non-members.

The Crosby Arboretum is located on Ridge Road, just off I-59, Exit 4. The staff asks that guests park in the Visitors Lot and take the main trail 450 feet to the Visitors Center. For more information, call the Arboretum office, 601-799-2311.

Arboretum staff are very happy to bring back this highly acclaimed annual tradition, the curator said. They invite the community to dine on this rich, heaping taste of yesteryear being served especially for the Pearl River County community, she said.