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Webster Fall Festival Celebrates 31 Years of History, Community

Blacksmith demonstrations, a pig roast, and tours of Webster Township historical buildings will take place on Saturday.

Good, old-fashioned family spirit will abound at the 31st annual Webster Township Fall Festival on Sept. 22.

The event, co-sponsored by the Webster Township Historical Society and Webster United Church of Christ, begins at 10 a.m. and will feature hayrides, a petting zoo, children’s crafts, a pig roast and local artist exhibits.

"The festival is something people all over the area look forward to every year," event volunteer Mary Clark said. "It's the unofficial start of the fall season."

The festival begins with the annual rummage sale held in the historic Scadin Farm Barn at 8 a.m. Clark said it is considered a “must-do” as lines typically begin forming around 6 a.m. for the sale.

An auction of antiques and collectibles will begin at 10 a.m., conducted by the Ann Arbor auction house of Braun and Helmer.

“I’ve been a member of the Webster Historical Society for many
years and think the fall festival is a wonderful family event,” auction house co-owner Brian Braun said in a previous interview.

Once again, the historic Webster Church, built in 1834 and listed as a historic Michigan site, will be open for tours and admiration. This year’s display theme presented in the church’s sanctuary is “Webster’s Art Work” and will feature artistic interpretations from the residents of Webster Township and the surrounding area.

In the church’s fellowship hall, a traditional luncheon will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring a variety of homemade foods such as soups, sloppy Joes, pies, pretzels, and baked goods.

The festival's arts and crafts tent will feature 11 artists showcasing wooden spoons, wood toys, eco-friendly crafts, botanical soaps, sock dolls and large fleece animals, wood carvings, fabric jewelry, dried flowers and herb products and paintings.

Throughout the grounds, there will be many true-to-period restored buildings that accurately show the early days of 19th century settlement typical for western Washtenaw County. The "good ole days" of school and the one-room podunk school, complete with a teacher, will be open for those who would like to experience how far the educational experience has come.

Festival-goers can also watch a blacksmith demonstrate traditional handmade metalworking. Outside the shop, a demonstration of techniques used by the early settlers to create fabrics for clothing, including wool spinning, will take place throughout the afternoon.

"It's good old country fun," Clark said. "Where else can you take a hayride through the woods and enjoy the beauty of nature?"

A variety of live musical performing artists will display their talents. This year they will be located across from the Boy Scout cabin and in the historic Webster Church. Local favorite, the RFD Boys and The North Creek Fiddlers will perform, along with jazz pianist, Frederick Fischer, who will tickle the keys on the Webster Church piano in the church sanctuary. Webster Church musicians Cherryl Vanderhoof and Anne Crawford will also perform.

A pig roast will conclude the evening at 5 p.m. and costs $10 for adults and $5 for children. Throughout the day, a "Taste of Webster” will also offer homemade cookies, cakes, pies, jellies, jams, honey, maple syrup and beverages.

Clark said every year the festival receives a lot of positive feedback from attendees.

"The number of visitors average in the thousands," she said. "Last year we sold 500 meals at the pig roast, but people come and typically stay all day."

Proceeds from the festival will be used to maintain the historic buildings as well as fund projects for local charities.

For more information, or for a full schedule of events, visit the festival's website online.

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