Yates Mill is centerpiece of fun during Harvest Festival

Painted pumpkins

A panoply of painted pumpkins

Overcast skies did little to dampen the enthusiasm of volunteers, exhibitors and guests who came to Yates Mill’s eighth annual Fall Harvest Celebration.

The park was crowded with families who enjoyed displays of traditional crafts such as blacksmithing and soap-making, and took part in games and activities from pumpkin painting to making corn-husk dolls to a history scavenger hunt. More than 1,500 people came out to Historic Yates Mill County Park to enjoy the fun on Sept. 21.


Crafty yarn-spinners showed their wares

And of course, Yates Mill itself was the centerpiece of the day, a lively hub for tours and cornmeal-grinding. Our usual corps of costumed volunteers were happy to show guests how the mill operated during its heyday, and to sell fresh cornmeal and other gifts.

For a second year, Yates Mill Associates also offered an array of crafts for sale, hand-made by our volunteers. Items ranged from custom woodworked gifts to earrings to hand-crocheted children’s accessories to potpourri.

YMA also sold popcorn and delicious Howling Cow ice cream, made nearby at N.C. State University, to guests who stopped on the Dick Thompson Overlook to enjoy a day full of folk music.

YMA craft sale

Arlene (center) and her trusty helpers prepare the YMA craft sale

We’re very grateful to our craft sale’s dedicated coordinator, Arlene Lord, and all those who donated items for the sale. We also thank Marsha McNamara for organizing the sale of ice cream and popcorn, and Art White for arranging for the donation of a small freezer from our partners at N.C. State.

We’ll have more crafts available at our annual holiday sale at the park center on Saturday, Dec. 7, so keep an eye on this page and our e-newsletter for details as we get closer to the date.

The talented staff of Historic Yates Mill County Park is already planning for next year’s Harvest Festival on Sept. 20, 2014. Yates Mill Associates will be ready, too — and we hope to see you there!

Yates Mill tour guides

Any day’s a good day for a mill tour! William, Donnie and Harvey will show you around.


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