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27 February 2008

Lebanon Campus of HACC to host free PA German Heritage Festival

If you don’t know what schnitz un gnepp is, find out that and more at the 13th annual Pennsylvania German Heritage Festival at the Lebanon Campus of HACC.

The celebration, which features food, art, crafts, music and history, will be held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, March 15, on HACC’s Lebanon Campus, 735 Cumberland St. The free public event attracts about 1,000 visitors annually. Among the festivities:

  • 9:30 a.m. - Performance by the Der Nei Dolpehock Sanger Chor, which perpetuates the traditions of the area’s early Pennsylvania Dutch.
  • 10:30 a.m. - William Donner, Ph.D., an associate professor of anthropology at Kutztown University, will present “No English Spoken Here: The Pennsylvania German Groundhog Lodges.” Donner will discuss the history and importance of these annual meetings, which seen as a way to preserve ethnic identity and traditions.
  • 11:30 a.m. - The Miller Brothers will present cumulative songs, a rarely performed folk tradition. A cumulative song is a song whose verses are built from earlier verses, usually by adding a new stanza to the previous verse.
  • 1 p.m. - Frank Bonner, Ed.D., will give a living history presentation on John Casper Stover of Lebanon, who in the early 1700s became the first German Lutheran minister in this area. Among the many churches he founded are Hill Lutheran Church, north of Cleona, and Salem Lutheran Church in downtown Lebanon.
  • 2 p.m. - Live auction to benefit the festival.
  • 3 p.m. Die Schwadore Schalle (The Swatara Sounds) featuring women and girls in costume performing traditional music and songs. Food for sale will include traditional German specialties, such as chicken pot pie, schnitz un gnepp* (apples and buttons, which is a meal of ham, raised dumplings and stewed apples), shoofly pie and more. Arts and crafts will include fraktur, scherenschnitte, Moravian stars and other works. History, genealogy, language and literature resources will be available.

This is a project of the Pennsylvania German Studies Program and supported by HACC, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Pennsylvania Humanities Council and the Community of Lebanon Association. For more information, call the Lebanon Campus at 270-4222.

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