Monday, September 22, 2014

     "Yeah!"  The Chokecherry Festival is behind us now and what a wonderful day spent with old and new friends!  The weather was perfect -- in fact -- it could not have been any better! 

    The 5-K run was a beautiful, scenic run with Matt Leavitt taking first place in the adult category and winning a massage and Jackson Gordon winning first place and winning his category.  The free Kids' Fun Run was full of eager, fast children of all ages with a desire to run faster than the wind!

     The hay maize was a successful addition to the Festival this year.  I think it will have to be a permanent fixture at the celebration, as the kids had a ton of fun there!  The Pumpkin Patch hay ride was back in full force, with parents a well as children, taking the ride to find their perfect pumpkin.  Someone remarked that it should be renamed, "The Adventure Ride" because it was pretty thrilling! Of course, the rest of the children's activities- the bounce house, fish pond and craft were all so much fun!  

   The food court had a wonderful variety of menu items -- all really, really good!  The eats were available throughout the day, providing a very relaxing opportunity to sit down in the warmth of the fall sun, relax and eat while feasting on the beautiful fall colors!

     The boutique was filled with lots of different items.  A new addition this year, "The Potato Princess" was filled with shabby chic items for your home that had been stripped of the old, peeling paint and given a fresh, new coat of decorator paint.  Many folks left with smiles and home items, so I'm thinking it was a success.  
      The "Food Nanny"/"blondy's kitchen" was there with her cookbooks and delicious homemade rolls with strawberry butter -- a favorite!
   "The Fudge Fairy" with her various fine candies sold out before 5:00 PM and there were a few disappointed visitors!
   My booth, full of chokecherry jellies and syrups enjoyed the company of many visitors and made friends with new ones.  My books, "Charity's Chokecherries" and "Charity's Winter" made their way back on to the shelves and many of us discussed our family histories and the lessons we learn and live from those who came before us.  I introduced a new endeavor I'm trying as an oral interviewer, offering services to record  your life histories.  Call me, if you are interested, and we can begin work with you doing the remembering while I ask questions and record them.  I will then print it up and give it to you, adding pictures if you would like.  There really are lots of people who want to know your life story, so don't be shy!  Call me!

     Another new item featured this year was a historical picture board that was generously made and donated to us by NaVee Vernon, County Historian, from Summit County.  The board had pictures of homes from many years ago, some still standing - some not, accompanied by brief histories.  Those attending the Festival took the time to browse the boards and enjoyed learning new facts and revisiting homes from the past.  Many thanks to NaVee and Summit County -- as this was a great addition!

   The riders taking their chances on a game of poker were not disappointed in the beautiful ride "On the Back of a Horse!"  Lunch on the trail was enjoyed by the riders and they returned for the tail-end of the Festival!  

   Next year, the Festival will be held on Sept. 19th with more and more chokecherry memories to store up!  If you would like to host a booth, let us know!  If you have any feedback, feel free to comment, please!  We love to hear what you have to say.

     Thanks for coming and please come again!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Chokecherry Festival 2014

   Oh my chokecherries!  The precious little jewels are in such abundance on the hillside this year that I am behind in getting the blog updated!  Time spent on the hillside with the warm fall sun shinning while I pull the luscious berries from the branches has been a catharsis to my soul!  My grandchildren have become old enough to be interested in the opportunity they have to run out on the hillside and spend time with each other, picking the little berries and telling each other stories. Oh, what rewards there are of living in the country and experiencing the goodness of Mother Earth!

    One day while picking with my grandchildren, I made the mistake of giving them a little history lesson.  It goes something like this....."One day while Harriet Moon and her children were out picking chokecherries, she was picking and humming to herself.  She kept hearing a rustle in the neighboring chokecherry trees and thought her children were nearby picking.  She happily continued, pulling a branch down to retrieve some beautiful, large berries.  As she pulled the branch down, she was face to face with a big bear, who was likewise happily picking berries and chomping them down.  Harriet screamed, dropping her bucket of chokecherries, and the bear -- scared to death -- turned and ran the other way!" 

     I didn't realize the consequences of my story until the next day when the kids went back out to pick.  Noah and Mia set out with their bucket and best intentions.  They came back to the house quite soon after leaving and Mia was very concerned that a squirrel might jump out and bite them on the neck!  So much for a good history lesson! 

     I have read in my Father's journal, that in the "old days," the  people in the community of Woodland gathered for a fall festival to celebrate the harvest.  They all brought apples, apple pies, apple butter, berries of all kinds in jellies and jams to be smeared on hot bread or rolls; milk from their cows and butter for their breads made from the cream skimmed from the milk; vegetables from their gardens and meat they had raised, usually chicken and pork.  It is in this same spirit that we gather for the Chokecherry meet, eat, greet and socialize with friends, neighbors and to welcome those who come to visit our little valley!  

     Here is this year's plan of events.  We have tried to include things  that seem to receive the most positive comments.  We want anyone and everyone to join us for a beautiful fall day of  meeting, greeting and eating while enjoying the beautiful days of fall in Woodland!  

Saturday, September 20th

Location: Woodland Church Farm (turn right at the Woodland Church - just past the river)
9:00 AM - The most scenic 5-K run anywhere!  Begins on Bench Creek Road and goes to the Old Church Farm Barn.  $15 pre-paid registration and $20 registration the day of the run.  Check-in begins at 8 am at the Church Farm Property.  Come join the run/walk to experience the beauty of Woodland and/or cheer your runner on to victory!  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.  For questions, contact Giselle Rasheta ( or on FB.
10:00 AM - Kids' Fun Run - Check in begins at the conclusion of the 5-K.  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER For questions, contact Giselle Rasheta ( or on FB.
10:00 AM - From the Back of a Horse trail ride.  Begins @ Cedar Hollow.  Play a hand of poker and see if you're good enough to win a prize!  Lunch on the trail and home in time for the Boutique and to eat a yummy dinner at the Festival!  Contact Julie Woodard @ 435-783-4609 or Jodi McNulty @ 435-513-9799.
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM - Boutique - Booths of all kinds from the famous Fudge Fairy to "Down on the Farm" chokecherry booth.  Plenty of Chokecherry Jelly and syrup!  Runs all day.
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM - Kids' Activities - Bounce House, Pumpkin Patch, Hay Maze, Train Rides.  All Day.
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM - Food Court - Food Court.  Delicious menu items will be available all through the day! Come visit us!
9:30 PM - 11:45 PM Glow Stick Dance - Not your average barn dance! $5 entrance gets you one set of glow sticks. Extras can be purchased for $2 per package. Join us for our first annual dance!

                              Contact Billie Sue McNeil @ 435-513-4607 with questions.

Come and share a beautiful fall day with us at the