Beth Woody celebrates 50 years in the Village of Yesteryear

Since 1969, Beth Woody of Hillsborough has spent her time at the N.C. State Fair as part of the Village of Yesteryear. Mary Cornwell, the first superintendent of the Village of Yesteryear, invited her to participate in the Village and demonstrate how to make Christmas decorations. Since then, Woody has been involved in making and demonstrating many crafts, such as sculptured paper lamp shades, cold water lye soap and kaleidoscopes. Her first love is marquetry, which she was introduced 40 years ago. “I first saw marquetry from Thayer Frances, another crafter in the Village of Yesteryear. We talked about marquetry…

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Growing up in the Village of Yesteryear

Instead of having visions of sugar plums, Emily Fleenor and Sara Gatilogo dreamed of making corn shuck dolls and painting eggshells throughout their childhood. Fleenor and Gatilogo are the granddaughters of Jim Trantham, an instrument maker in the Village of Yesteryear who served as director for many years. At a young age, the kids and their father, Doug, formed a family band using Trantham’s handmade banjos, guitars and ancient instruments such as dulcimers. Their booth in the Village featured these items for sale, along with CDs they had made of their music. When the girls were seven or eight years…

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Craftsman and craftswoman of the year named in Village of Yesteryear

A fine-art painter and a porcelain-art maker were honored as the craftsman and craftswoman of the year in the Village of Yesteryear at the N.C. State Fair. Walter Creech, a painter and water-colorist from Saxaphaw, and Gay Lord, who works with porcelain, of Orlando, received the honors. “This award is given to one man and one woman each year,” Village of Yesteryear Director Pam Earp said. “All the members of the village vote for who they view as most dedicated to their craft and the village’s mission of demonstration and education.” Creech has been a member of the Village of…

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What’s New at the Village of Yesteryear

  Last year the Village of Yesteryear celebrated it’s 65th birthday at the N.C. State Fair.  And, like many of us, the Village of Yesteryear just gets better with age. It’s a great place to shop for unique, one-of-kind gifts for yourself, or Christmas presents, and to learn a little about heritage crafts and their importance. More than 100 working artists will demonstrate their crafts in the Holshouser Building near Heritage Circle. Crafters include potters, quilters, bowl makers, painters and more.  This year the village welcomes five new craftsmen including a wood turner who makes beautiful hollow Christmas ornaments, a…

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Happy 65th Birthday, Village of Yesteryear

For as long as most people can remember, the Village of Yesteryear has been housed in the circular building with the white roof adjacent to Heritage Circle. It’s within the walls of the Holshouser Building that you not only observe working artists demonstrating heritage crafts, but purchase the art for yourself. For all 65 years, the mission of the Village of Yesteryear has remained the same: Teaching heritage craftsmanship, demonstrating skills and educating the public. Mary Cornwell, a former extension agent for Cherokee and Haywood counties, was the Village of Yesteryear’s first director and served for 38 years. Below is her account of…

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The Village of Yesteryear comes together

Since 1951, the Village of Yesteryear has been part of the N.C. State Fair, showcasing heritage crafts by local artisans. Inside the Holshouser Building, the village is taking shape as craftsmen work to set up their booths. Some craftsmen, such as Duane Raver, have been in the Village of Yesteryear for many years. Raver has been in the Village for the past 32 years showing his wildlife art. Raver was an artist for and editor of the Wildlife in North Carolina Magazine for 20 years. Raver is undeniably talented, and we’re grateful to have him in the Village again this year.  …

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Challenge accepted: Turning clay at the Village of Yesteryear

A few days ago, Bearded Lady, Firecracker and Flying Bob took on the deep-fried brownie for the first installment in our series of fan-selected press office challenges. On Sunday, I took on another press office challenge. Jessica, one of our fans, asked us to try to throw clay in the Village of Yesteryear and I decided to be the guinea pig. As many of you probably know, there are several wonderful potters in the Village. Jim Weber of Milner, Ga., one of those potters, agreed to help me out. Check out the video below to see how I did. I…

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Deep Fried Triangle Tweetup Recap

We had a great time last night hanging out with more than 100 of our social media followers at the Deep Fried Triangle Tweetup. We hope everyone had fun creating origami Twitter birds, sharing their State Fair memories, learning how to yo-yo, sampling Deep Fried Kool-Aid and House-Autry Mills hushpuppies and posing on our red carpet during the event. We’d like to send a special thanks to our sponsors and exhibitors who made the event such a success. Thanks to Susan Hansen from the Village of Yesteryear, Lisa Gregory with Blue Ribbon Memories, The Amazing Arthur Fratelli, Smokey Bear and…

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Twitter roundup: Eight enlightening State Fair exhibits

So far, we’ve brought you some of the highlights in State Fair food, rides and games. For our last social media series on the fair’s attractions, we’re bringing you some of the best exhibits that the fair has to offer (#8enlighteningexhibits). Though the carnival aspects of the fair sometimes get more attention, the exhibits preserve our state’s culture, promote North Carolina agricultural products and provide opportunities for people from across the state to connect in areas of shared passion. In this way, the exhibits are at the core of what the fair is all about. The Antique Farm Machinery exhibit…

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Deep Fried Challenge: Trying something new that was really something old

Last year Firecracker issued the challenge to all of us in the State Fair Press Office to do something at the State Fair that we had never done before. So, in my 14th year in the Press Office, my co-workers and I took target practice at the Raleigh Jaycees Turkey Shoot.  And I also tried my hand at tying tobacco, both skills I must admit I didn’t really master all that well. We are continuing the challenge this year and are even including some reader-suggested ideas, including this one from Tuesday. My challenge for this year was to experience a different aspect…

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