Between Gigs – 10/29/2019

Last weekend was the start of the season. As a volunteer at the Wilderness Road Regional Museum, I am usually the spinner. Sometimes events stack and I have to be elsewhere. Sometimes, my role is different. The last weekend of October, they plan a Spirits Along the Wilderness Road event. It isn’t a scary event, instead a Percheron pulled wagon travels a path through local history with stops for the “Spirits” of actual historical figures from the region to share their moment in history.

Photo credit April Martin, Wilderness Road Regional Museum

There were many spirits, Colonels, soldiers, gamblers, slaves, Seminole indians, founders, shop keepers, Politicians, a tiny Werewolf, and more. I portrayed an older Mary Draper Ingles displaying her angst at being away from the ferry and her home as dark descended.

Photo credit April Martin, Wilderness Road Regional Museum

In all there were 9 wagon loads of visitors, one every half hour and we could have filled more if there had been space and time. Last year the event was rain delayed to a week night and was less successful, but this year was especially great. The period depicted for my part was just after the Revolutionary War, so I wore that period clothing. As folks could wander the museum before or after their ride, I also was able to share some fiber history and demonstrate spinning on one of the old Walking Wheels that I helped restore to use.

The upcoming weekend, I will be with a friend demonstrating wool and spinning at the Booker T. Washington National Monument again in costume, but this time closer to the Civil War so a bit of change up to the clothing items. It will also be outdoors and a chilly weekend, so there may be some hidden woolen layers under the two piece dress, and my Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em huge shawl and fingerless mitts to help try to stay warm. At this event, my friend and I can also vend, so yarn, knits, soaps, and salves will accompany my spinning wheel and baskets. When demonstrating in costume, I have a canvas seated wooden folding chair (a period camp reproduction) and a Jacob sheep pelt that I sit on. If I get too cold, the pelt can be in my lap.

After this weekend, there are a couple of weeks off, then the craft shows for the holidays begin in earnest with Catawba Valley Farmers Market Holiday event on November 23rd. The Blacksburg Farmers Market Holiday markets the first 3 Saturday’s in December. The first two Saturday’s and Sunday’s in December, I will also be back at Wilderness Road Regional Museum in period clothing, demonstrating spinning and vending at their Christmas Bazaar in the old German Barn during the Wassailing and tours of the museum in Christmas greens and candles.

This is such a fun time of year, never knowing what the weather may bring or the crowds that may show up.

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