*Remember to bring your lawn chairs*
Arthurdale Heritageâ€™s New Deal Festival is giving people of all ages a chance to step back in time and Remember 1941. The festival begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 9th and features artisan demonstrations, historic reenactments, museum tours, craft market, antique car, truck, and tractor show, quilt show, supervised kids area with games and activities, and much more. This year, the festival looks back on Arthurdale at the cusp of Americaâ€™s involvement in World War II in 1941.
â€œThis year, focus is on life in Arthurdale and America, in 1941, right before Americaâ€™s involvement in World War II. Our activities are designed not only to entertain guests, but also to teach them about life in the 1930s and â€˜40s and get them interested in the history of Arthurdale,â€ said Jeanne Goodman, Arthurdale Heritage Executive Director.
New to the festival is the Fratkin Collection. Housed in the New Deal Homestead Museum, this collection is on loan from Robert & Susan Fratkin and features original FDR campaign posters, Civilian Conservation Corps badges, National Recovery Act posters, and much more. The Fratkin Collection is a special opportunity for guests to see rare objects that have never before been displayed locally.
One of the most popular events at the New Deal Festival is the antique car, truck, and tractor show. Guests can check under the hood of some of Detroitâ€™s classiest machines from the 1920s all the way to hot-rods and muscle cars from the 1960s and â€˜70s. The show, hosted by the Arthurdale Tire Kickers Club, also features antique tractors, including a restored tractor manufactured at the Reedsville Co-Op Tractor Factory.
Youngsters can enjoy games and activities geared especially for them in the festivalâ€™s supervised kids area. This year, kids can get up close with hawks, eagles, and owls from the West Virginia Raptor Rehabilitation Center. Kids can also take part in marble shooting contests and stop by the little red barn to visit Turbo the â€œtoyâ€ pig, horses, goats, calves, and other livestock.
Guests can get an up-close look at Eleanor Rooseveltâ€™s â€˜Little Villageâ€™ with specialty tour options. Guests can climb aboard a horse-drawn wagon and travel through Arthurdale for an in-depth look at the history of the community. You can also opt for an old-fashioned hay ride. Tickets for these specialty tours can be purchased at the information booth the day of the event.
Author C.J. Maloney will be on hand to sign copies of his new book, Back to the Land: Arthurdale, FDRâ€™s New Deal, and the Costs of Economic Planning. Maloney has spent over two years researching the book and it contains in-depth interviews with descendants of original Arthurdale homesteaders. To reserve your copy for the signing, contact Arthurdale Heritage at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gates open at 9 a.m. Purchase your festival tickets in advance and save. Online tickets are $5.00 per adult, $3.00 per child 6-11. At the gate, admission is $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for children 6-12. Kids 5 and under are free. Parking is free.
Marriott Springhill Suites in Morgantown is the official hotel of the New Deal Festival and is offering a special festival rate for the weekend of July 7-10. Reserve your room by July 4 and use rate code: AHIF when booking online or call: (304) 225.5200.