In celebration of Bill Monroe’s 100th Birthday this year’s Bluegrass In The Park folklife celebration will offer a unique look at the musical traditions of bluegrass. Luthiers will share their craft of constructing and repairing the various musical instruments used to create the one of a kind sounds of bluegrass. Children will also be able to explore other folklife traditions with hands-on crafts.
Hatfield Banjos – Arthur Hatfield has been playing bluegrass music since he was a boy and has been building banjos for 30 years. The first band Arthur Hatfield played in was called the "New Sounds of Bluegrass" that he and friends Larry Lawrence and Jimmy Dickerson had formed. Arthur soon caught the attention of Carl Story and traveled and performed all over the U.S. and Canada as one of Carl Story's Rambling Mountaineers. Arthur now once again resides at his old homeplace where he builds Hatfield Banjos, necks, and does banjo repairs. He started building Hatfield Banjos fulltime in 2001.
The Makings of a Violin - Rebecca Wetzel of Wetzel Violins in Evansville, is a trained luthier with a degree in String Instrument Technology and in General Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. Prior to opening her own violin shop in Evansville in 1993, Wetzel trained under Severin Schurger in Miama, Fla, and at the Bass Viol Shop in Cincinannti, Ohio. She has extensive training to work on the most complicated instrument through minor repairs and set-ups as well as cello bow making and is a member of the Violin Society of America.
All About Dobro – Ron Tipton of Owensboro, Ky., didn’t like the way most bars for playing dobro fit in his hand – so he created his own. The bars soon became a favorite of top dobro players around the world, including Jerry Douglas of Allison Kraus and Union Station fame. Tipton will help visitors explore the dobro, including its history, its sound and answer the question … what exactly is it?
Dulcimers and Then Some – The Shade Tree Players will be performing on stage during the bluegrass festival, but will also be on-hand at the folklife festival to talk about the array of instruments they use to create their unique sound. The dulcimer is their core instrument, but they also play guitar, ukulele, wash-tub bass, mandolin, and autoharp.
Fried Apple Pies – children can make and then eat their very own fried apple pies! Presented by Reva Mitchell and the Henderson County Cooperative Extension Office.
All Things Herbs – Need an acne remedy? Want to soften your hair? No need to make a run to the store – just look in the cupboards! Master gardener and beekeeper Debbie Lowrence will share home beauty remedies using honey and herbs!
Making Beeswax Candles –Bees are good for much more than just making honey. Their wax (beeswax) has been used for a variety of purposes since ancient times, including the production of light. Children will get to learn about the wax that bees produce and make their very own beeswax candle to take home!
Potter’s Hands – Acclaimed artist Julie Byczynski will share her potter’s wheel with local children, teaching them how to turn clay from the earth into their very own, artistic keepsake!
Blacksmith – William White is a renowned knifemaker and blacksmith who lives in Morgantown, Ky. One day, as he hammered out a serpent-shaped candlestick his daughter noted “dad, that looks like a silly snake.” The name stuck. White will spend the day hammering out a “silly snake” as he demonstrates the age-old craft of blacksmithing.
Soap-Making – – Lucia Felty remembers her grandmother always having homemade lye soap by her kitchen and bathroom sinks. The odd-shaped chunk of soap with the unusual smell fascinated her. So in 2003 when a friend asked for her help in making soap Lucia happily agreed. Lucia began studying soap making and by 2007 Lucia's hobby became a business. Lucia is a member of Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild, a Certified Advanced Soapmaker, and a Juried Participant in Kentucky Crafter Arts Program. Demonstrations will begin at 11 a.m., 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.
Made by Hand – Peter Chevalier will demonstrate making homemade tools such as a pitch fork.
Child’s Play – Before Playstation and Wii, children entertained themselves with old-time games like checkers, chess and washer boards. Explore the ever-evolving games of childhood as presented by Mark Simmons and the City of Henderson Parks and Recreation Department.