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Contact: Beth Reseter (Friendship Hill Assoc.), 724-569-2295
Contact: Tom Markwardt (NPS), 724-329-5811
POINT MARION, Pa. - Visitors to FestiFall 2012 will be able to tour a new exhibit on loan from the Library of Geneva Switzerland. FestiFall 2012 runs Saturday, September 22, and Sunday, September 23, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Friendship Hill National Historic Site. In addition to viewing "Albert Gallatin, a Genevan at the Heart of the American Dream" visitors will be able to enjoy a weekend full of music, food, crafts, soldier life demonstrations, weapons displays and games.
Period craft demonstrations will be set up along "Main Street" atop the knoll and on the mansions' wide verandas. Traditional country fare including roast beef sandwiches, ham and bean soup, cornbread, home baked white bread, apple butter, sugar biscuits, molasses cookies, root beer and cider will be served. Plan to eat lunch under the trees on the lawn outside the Mansion.
Young Albert and his bride Hannah Nicholson Gallatin will be on hand to greet their friends and neighbors on Saturday, while a more elderly Gallatin will be hosting Sunday's activities.
Special activities for children include; candle dipping, applesauce preparation, making corn husk dolls, and creating beautiful flower garlands. Students, parents, and educators from the Albert Gallatin School district will be sponsoring booths at the west end of our "Main Street" atop the knoll.
Park Superintendent , Jeff Reinbold invites visitors to "come tour the furnished Gallatin mansion, view the new Gallatin exhibit from Switzerland, enjoy the wonderful variety of traditional foods, talk with craft demonstrators, listen to the live musical performances, talk with a Ranger about Gallatin and the War of 1812, view the historic weapons displays and enjoy a great day in Laurel Highlands with your family."
Beth Reseter, President of the Friendship Hill Association encourages local residents and visitors to our region to plan to attend this year's event which is the longest running and free fall festival in the region. The Friendship Hill Association is a non-profit group whose mission is to support the National Park Service at Friendship Hill National Historic Site. If you are interested in joining the dedicated citizens of Friendship Hill Association who work to protect this treasured place, Beth Reseter will welcome your call! She can give you information of the type of help needed. Please call Beth at 304-379-2569. A membership table will be available at FestiFall for the Friendship Hill Association.
As in years past, the crisp autumn air at FestiFall will be filled with the sound of music from a variety of different groups and performers throughout the weekend. Musical groups scheduled to appear on the outdoor stage this year are the Falling Run Blue Grass Band from Morgantown West Virginia, the Greene County Dulcimer Players, and The Sutton Family. Evan Kovach and Richard MacKenzie will be performing a selection of flute and bassoon pieces in and around the Gallatin Mansion.
In addition to the many vendors and programs being presented by Friendship Hill Association, National Park Rangers will be conducting programs detailing military life during the War of 1812. The programs will include a display on the evolution of military firearms from the Gallatin period to the present. These programs will include discussions on daily soldier life, uniforms, cooking, and camp life.
On Sunday, the Friendship Hill Association will be sponsoring an old fashioned church service slightly before FestiFall begins. The service will be at 10:00 a.m. and be presided over by Scott Teets of the Fallen Timbers Community Chapel.
Shuttle service from the parking area to the knoll is provided for those needing assistance. The Gallatin house is handicap accessible with restrooms that are open to the public.
Friendship Hill is the historic country home of Albert Gallatin. Gallatin is best known for his service as Secretary of Treasury under Presidents Jefferson and Madison. Gallatin founded the American Ethnological Society in 1842 to help preserve Indian languages and culture that were rapidly disappearing. He was also a founder of New York University. The annual event is designed to celebrate his role in helping preserve our early republic. Friendship Hill National Historic Site is located on Rt. 166 between Point Marion, PA and New Geneva, PA. For further information contact the National Park Service at (724) 725-9190.