Piney Woods Festival at Crosby Arboretum to celebrate local heritage

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Crosby Arboretum will host the Piney Woods Heritage Festival at 10 a.m. on Nov.18. The event, which is now in its 15th year, celebrates the region’s heritage with presentations, displays and demonstrations of historical skills and crafts, including basket making, woodcarving, blacksmithing and more.

To set the stage for the event, an opening ceremony of historically themed presentations is scheduled to take place at the Senior Center of South Pearl River County on Nov. 17 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

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Patricia Drackett, Director of The Crosby Arboretum, said the highlight of the event will be the metal working segment, where children and adults can experience what it’s like to make something from scratch.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area is funding the festival this year.

One of the events will be a presentation by Dr. Tammy Greer, a member of the United Houma Nation of Louisiana and director of the Center for American Indian Research and Studies at the University of Southern Mississippi, who will talk about the “16 Native Plants and their Historical and Contemporary Uses among Southeastern American Indians.” A second presentation by Mitchell Robinson, Conservation Education Manager at Strawberry Plains Audubon Center in Holly Springs, Mississippi, will talk about “A Towering Ghost: The Cultural Legacy of Longleaf Pine in the Deep South.”

Drackett said a special demonstration on beekeeping using picture cards for young school groups will draw attention to the habitat of the honey bee and introduce children to the types of beehives.

Entertainment lined up for the event will include dance performances by the Choctaw Indian dance group and the Piney Woods Cloggers.

Some old-fashioned games such as hopscotch, marbles, jacks and horseshoes along with exciting crafts and storytelling will be available for children Saturday.

Lots of baked goods, kettle corn and fresh produce from Country Girls Creamery will be for sale.

Admission to the Nov. 17 event at the Senior Center is free and tickets for Nov. 18 event is $5 for adults and $2 for children under 12. Arboretum members can attend for free.