“The purpose of Heritage Festival is to educate visitors on typical farm lifestyles from 1880-1920,” said Angela Dennis, marketing and development officer of Cape Fear Botanical Garden. “It helps us meet our mission of education and promoting the enjoyment of nature.”
The community festival includes a “travel back in time” theme that features exhibits and demonstrations depicting typical farm life from 1880-1920. With an expected attendance of 1,000 people, the festival has been a tremendous success the last four years. Other activities include hands-on games and activities for all ages, hay rides, pony rides, barnyard animals, exhibits of farm machinery and agricultural demonstrations including corn, tobacco and peanuts. There will be tours of the 1886 farmhouse, old general store, old corn crib and tobacco barn. These historical buildings were donated to the gardens from a family in Eastover.
The games include checkers, an egg race, marbles, jump rope, rolling candles from beeswax, digging for peanuts, corn husk figure making, finger cotton spinning, washing clothes on a washboard and other activities that add to the fun of the festival. The children get to make things from the materials from this time period and take them home.
The most popular part of the festival is the pony rides.
“We ask for a $1 donation for the pony ride,” said Dennis. “The kids love to ride the pony.”
Typical farm animals will be on display for the children to pet. Families will also have the opportunity to enjoy a hay ride around the garden.
The crafts of sewing, tatting, spinning and basketry will also be on display. Vendors will have their displays set up to teach the public about these different crafts.
“They will teach the students how to do basketry,” said Dennis.
The Parsons, a local group, will perform live bluegrass music for the event. Hot dogs, chips, popcorn and soda will be for sale.
“This is a great family activity,” said Dennis. “It is an opportunity to teach children about farm living.”
Cape Fear Botanical Garden is on 79 acres located at 536 North Eastern Blvd. Founded in 1989, the garden now boasts more than 2,000 varieties of ornamental plants and has several specialty gardens, including camellia, day lily and hosta gardens.
Admission is $3-$5 for adults and free for children under 12. Garden members, AAA members and military personnel admission is $3. For more information or to volunteer for the event call 486-0221 or visit www.capefearbg.org.