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Corn shucking frolic to return Saturday

PINNACLE — Unlike last weekend when the remnants of Hurricane Ian put a damper on outdoor events locally, sunny skies are forecast Saturday for the return of Horne Creek Living Historical Farm’s corn shucking frolic.

For the last two years, a variable other than the weather has prevented the typically well-attended fall event from occurring.

“Yeah, COVID got us,” Horne Creek Site Manager Lisa Turney said Monday of the scenario unfolding since the last corn shucking frolic was held in 2019 — which curtailed it and other large public gatherings.

With that threat now out of the picture, excitement is running high for the 29th-annual frolic scheduled Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Horne Creek Living Historical Farm, where the centerpiece is the 1900-era Hauser family farmhouse.

It and the adjoining buildings and grounds have been preserved as a North Carolina State Historic Site to give the public an idea of what agriculture was like in the early days.

This will be in full display Saturday with activities to showcase what event organizers describe as a traditional rural frolic featuring the harvesting, shucking, shelling and grinding of corn — recreating community corn shuckings of the distant past.

Cider making, a quilt exhibit by the Surry County Quilters Guild, cooking, woodworking, spinning wool and flax, the making of apple butter and molasses, antiques, cooking demonstrations in the farmhouse, chair bottoms made with corn shucks, tobacco curing, natural dyeing, crocheting/knitting and numerous other craft demonstrations and exhibits are among attractions planned.

The list further includes a gristmill demonstration, log hewing and crosscut sawing and blacksmithing, along with others.

Old-time, bluegrass and gospel music performed by six different groups will add further spice to the gathering. The list of performers includes Candelfirth, Travis Frye and Blue Mountain, Chords of Faith, Gap Civil, Harrison’s Ridge and New River Line.

Areas of the farm to be involved other than the farmhouse include a tobacco barn, orchard, feed barn, dry house, garden and visitors center.

Various organizations will have a presence at the corn shucking frolic such as the Surry County Extension Master Gardeners, Four-H, Boy Scouts and the Surry County Beekeepers Association.

Old farm comes to live

The usual scene at the corn shucking frolic includes folks sitting on lawn chairs, which they are encouraged to bring, and bales of hay on the lawn of the farmhouse listening to music performed from a porch. And the other locations on the grounds where various demonstrations are taking place also are beehives of activity, including a well-filled corn crib.

Meanwhile, vehicles tend to line the roadway leading into the farm and fill its lot.

“I think there’s several reasons,” Turney said of the corn shucking frolic’s popularity.

One involves a sense of nostalgia and the desire to keep traditions alive.

“I think it’s because a lot of older people have done a lot of things that are highlighted,” Turney added of the various activities taking place along with shucking corn, “and they want to bring their families and show them.”

On the other end of the spectrum are attendees from urban environments who are totally unfamiliar with agricultural life and want to experience that, the site manager mentioned.

When there’s good music, food and heritage demonstrations, “I think you’ve got a winning combination,” she said.

Turney lamented the fact that another popular part of the festival, hayrides, has been discontinued for insurance reasons.

Admission to the event will cost $8 per adult and $5 for children ages 6-12, but is free for kids 5 and under.

There also will be a charge for food, drinks and some craft activities. Chicken stew, pintos, fried pies, apple cider and other items will be offered, with products and gifts available for sale at a country store on the site.

Additionally, apple trees grafted from those in the Southern Heritage Apple Orchard on the farm can be purchased.

No outside food or pets (other than service animals) will be allowed on the grounds.

Horne Creek Living Historical Farm can reached by taking the Pinnacle exit off U.S. 52, with state historic site signs leading the way from there.



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