Show your kids how “home” used to be back in the 1860’s. Everything from blacksmithing, candle dipping, open-hearth cooking, and sheep shearing are just a few examples of fun activities at the Atlanta History Center’s annual Sheep to Shawl festival on Saturday, April 14, 2012, 10:30 am – 4:30 pm.
The journey from sheep to shawl begins at Smith Family Farm, where you are transported to the 1860s to explore the lifestyle of a nineteenth-century Georgia farm.
At the Smith Family Farm barnyard, learn the importance of shearing sheep’s wool each spring as you observe shearing demonstrations at 11:00 am; 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 pm. Children receive a handful of wool as a keepsake before taking part in a variety of entertaining hands-on activities and demonstrations that illustrate the process of wool being washed, sorted, carded, spun, dyed, and woven into a shawl – literally, from sheep to shawl.
While at the farm, interact with a variety of costumed living history interpreters presenting authentic demonstrations of blacksmithing, pottery, candle dipping, woodworking, open-hearth cooking, and other crafts and chores. Listen to Southern folktales spun by Betty Ann Wylie and enjoy the sounds of traditional bluegrass with Cindy Musselwhite and Friends on the front porch of the Smith farmhouse. Take a guided tour of the Smith farmhouse and explore the living quarters of the Smith family. Most important, don’t forget to stop by the barnyard for the petting zoo.
Steps away from the farm, enjoy guided tours of the Atlanta History Center’s Historic Quarry Garden at 11:15 am and 1:15 pm., and discover the beautiful springtime blooms and plant life in the state’s largest collection of native Georgia plants.
At the Mable Dorn Reeder Amphitheatre at 11:30 am, 1:30 and 3:30 pm visitors can enjoy a performance of Clay: Palm to Earth, the story of Dave Drake. Born enslaved in 1801, Drake – traditionally known as Dave the Potter – was taught to turn pots and learned to read and write, often signing much of his pottery and inscribing them with poems. After the performance, step inside the museum to admire the work of Dave the Potter on display in the Atlanta History Center’s Southern folk arts exhibition, Shaping Traditions. Guided tours are available at 12:30 and 3:00 pm. Hear musical performances by In Town Down Home Band in the Garden Overlook at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm.
Sheep to Shawl is sponsored by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners under the guidance of the Fulton County Arts Council and supported by the Poppy Garden Club.
This special program is included with the price of general Atlanta History Center admission; free to members. For information call 404.814.4000 or visit www.AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/S2S. Girl Scouts can purchase a special Sheep to Shawl patch for participation in the day’s activities. For a group rate for Girl Scouts call 404.814.4062.