By Chris Edwards
WOODVILLE – With the Tyler County Fair over with, another favorite fall Tyler County event is on the horizon: the Harvest Festival at Heritage Village. The festival is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Oct. 20-21.
This year marks the 34th edition of the folklife festival, which features a broad array of entertainment, demonstrators and wares. To cap off the entertainment from the Village stage, Woodville’s first lady of song, Kim Cruse, will perform. Cruse will close out Saturday’s entertainment.
The multi-talented singer/songwriter is currently touring and promoting her latest single “Cry.” Last year, Cruse shot to national prominence as a participant on NBC’s The Voice.
Since its inception, the Harvest Festival has been dedicated to celebrating the many cultural influences that comprise the region’s heritage at Heritage Village, which is presented as a “living village” for visitors to see how pioneer life was in the period from the mid-19th century up to the early 1920s.
Participants of the Harvest Festival dress in period costumes, use tools from the period represented and demonstrate skills of that time period.
In addition to Cruse and other musicians presenting entertainment from the stage, there will also be dancers demonstrating folk dancing from various cultures, including Russian, Polynesian and the Alabama-Coushatta tribe.
Friday, Oct. 20 is the “Kids’ Day” of the festival, in which schools come and participate from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The Village and festival is open until 3 p.m. that day. On Saturday, the Village opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. That day, tours of the Clyde Gray House Museum will also be available. The house is the former dwelling and workspace of Gray, an artist, promoter and raconteur who started Heritage Village in the 1960s as Heritage Gardens.
The popular Saturday Farmers’ Market will also be taking place on Saturday morning, in the Village main parking lot, between the Pickett House and the Hamm House.
Admission to the event is $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 5-11; free for children ages 4 and under. Parking is available at the top of the hill, off of US 190, west of the main Village entrance. A shuttle bus will be on hand to carry attendees from the parking lot down to the front gate of the festival, however, there is also a walking path for those who wish to walk.