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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (National Lakeshore) will host the 11th Annual Port Oneida Rural Arts and Culture Fair on August 10-11 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Visitors to the event may take a shuttle, drive, hike, or bike between six unique historic sites to enjoy a variety of activities. Each week leading up to the fair, details will be made available about one of the following sites: Burfiend Barn, Kelderhouse Farm, Thoreson Farm, Olsen Farm, Dechow Farm, and Port Oneida Schoolhouse.
The Charles and Hattie Olsen Farm on M-22 is the welcoming center to the Port Oneida Rural Historic District year-round, and the home of Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear (PHSB), offering interpretive exhibits, videos, and a trail guide of the late 1800s/early 1900s farming community. Fortunately, during the Port Oneida Fair, visitors get an up-close and personal peek into the domestic life of these rural American farmsteads when they come to life and bustle with activity.
"The aroma of farmhouse cooking will greet our visitors when they step into the restored kitchen. It's definitely one of the highlights." said Susan Pocklington, Director of PHSB. Susan Odom of Hillside Homestead will be demonstrating historic cooking and explaining foodways of the historic period. The theme at the farm will showcase the many kinds of domestic activities that were required to keep the farm and family running smoothly. Other demonstrations at the Olsen Farm include buttermaking, pickling, food preservation tours, family history recording, dulcimer music, quilting, a potato hunt, wagon-wheel rugmaking, broom making, horse and wagon rides, farmers market, and more. You can also get a Cherry Republic ice cream cone or stop in the Olsen House where the Port Oneida Fair poster by artist Greg Sobran, Port Oneida t-shirts, a trail guide, and history books on the region are available.
The Olsen Farm will also be the site of the Friday night Port Oneida Picnic; an old fashioned chicken dinner and silent auction starting at 5:00 p.m. Tickets are only $15 and need to be purchased in advance. There will be music and activities to accompany the dinner at the Olsen Farm. Please contact PHSB for ticket information at www.phsb.org. The Port Oneida Fair Committee will be holding a silent auction, with items donated from demonstrators and the local community, from 5:00-7:00 p.m., with winners announced at 7:15 p.m. You must be present to claim your item.
PHSB has been a partner of the National Lakeshore since 1998, is co-founder and co-sponsor for the Port Oneida Fair, and the adaptive-use partner for the Charles and Hattie Olsen Farm. For details, please visit www.phsb.org.
The Port Oneida Fair is a free event, but you must purchase a Park Entrance Pass and prominently display it in your vehicle. Please call 231-326-5135, ext. 328, to make reservations (if you plan to bring a group), or ask questions, or visit the National Lakeshore's website at www.nps.gov/slbe