Pennsylvania Dutch Festival: Folk, food and fun in Kutztown, PA

The annual Kutztown Folk Festival in Pennsylvania June 29-July 7 is nine days of local Pennsylvania Dutch culture, crafts and fun. Photo: Kutztown Folk Festival

Washington, June 06, 2013 – The traditions-filled annual Kutztown Folk Festival in Pennsylvania June 29-July 7 is expected to attract thousands of visitors with its unique kind of fun that keeps the generations coming back.

Even as culture and tastes change with the passing years, the festival’s main events showcase the three centuries-old Pennsylvania Dutch culture that draws thousand of visitors to the region annually.

SEE RELATED: Lancaster County’s Sight & Sound Theatre stages ‘Noah’

Kutztown Folk Festival, PA

After all, where else can you witness a Liar’s Contest – a match of wits and imagination, all in both the Pennsylvania Dutch and English languages? The festival also puts on a daily barn raisin’ by local restoration experts. 

Visitors can experience the area’s famous foods and interactive activities, such as quilt making, corn shucking, and hay baling. The chance to learn local arts and crafts and buy them from the artisans is also on the festival agenda.

Pennsylvania was an early proponent of religious freedom in America, and exhibitions of varying services – a combination of Reformed, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Church of Christ congregations – will be on display in the Union Church. The various denominations worshipped together in the 17th and 18th centuries when there were a limited number of people in each group. 

Quilt Show and Sale

The festival’s annual sale of more than 2,500 local handmade quilts, are a major festival feature and takes place in a really big quilt barn. Many of the sale quilts are creations by Mennonite and Amish women, and range in scale from king to crib size. They are accepted for the festival via a competitive juried process. The “best of the best” will be sold at auction on Saturday, July 6th.

Kutztown Folk Festival

Quilting demonstrations and quilting bees are held throughout the 9-day festival. Visitors will have opportunities to create a visitors’ quilt, one patch at a time. The 2013 creation will be on display with others from previous years.  Quilting demonstrations and bees will also occur throughout the festival’s nine days. Also, this festival has a reputation as a great source for the finest quilt fabrics and exquisite selections of traditional miniature framed quilts.

SEE RELATED: Branson brings out the glitz with its Missouri mountain culture

Civil War Connections

Meanwhile, nearby Gettysburg is marking the 150th anniversary of the 1863 battle during the festival’s run, so this year’s visitors will gain insight into the connections between the war and the Pennsylvania Dutchmen who left their farms and took up arms for a national cause. Civil War historian Dr. David Valuska will present daily lectures about the role of local soldiers and their contributions to the Union military regiments, such as the 167th Pennsylvania Volunteers.  


Younger visitors will enjoy Noah’s World animal park, hay mazes, do-it-yourself mural paintings, rides, and making cider, apple butter, sauerkraut, soap, candles, and a variety of other 19th century foods and products.

Pennsylvania Dutch Fest, Kutztown, PA

They’ll also enjoy their own stage, where puppet shows, sing-alongs, story telling and other activities will keep them entertained. Kids and their parents will want to ride the last remaining (and working) horse-powered carousel in the country, as well.

Everyone will enjoy crafts demonstrations and the days of entertainment that include folk music, dancing, and storytelling. And probably the most popular festival item of all – famous Pennsylvania Dutch foods, such as funnel cakes and meat treats (think: pig snout, scrapple, sausages, pickled pigs feet and tongue) — will be available everywhere.

To plan your festival visit, go to

Read more of Ruth Hill’s columns in the Washington Times Communities at Contemporary Christian Travel.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

More from Contemporary Christian Travel
blog comments powered by Disqus
Ruth Hill

Ruth Hill writes for magazines and newspapers about the business and pleasures of travel. Read more about her views and news of Christian heritage travel around the world at

Contact Ruth Hill


Please enable pop-ups to use this feature, don't worry you can always turn them off later.

Question of the Day
Photo Galleries
Popular Threads
Powered by Disqus