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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Atkins in folklife festival all 35 years

  • Lee Atkins does double duty at Hannibal’s Autumn Historic Folklife Festival, both demonstrating his woodcarving and selling kettle corn with fellow members of Hydesburg United Methodist Church at an adjacent booth.


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  • Lee Atkins does double duty at Hannibal’s Autumn Historic Folklife Festival, both demonstrating his woodcarving and selling kettle corn with fellow members of Hydesburg United Methodist Church at an adjacent booth.
    Atkins is among the people who have participated in the folklife festival every year since its beginning 35 years ago.
    The folklife festival will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, in the historic district along North Main Street. A children’s parade will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, and a pie eating contest will be at 2 p.m. at Bird and Main.
    On Sunday after winners of a pie baking contest are announced, the pies will be auctioned at 2 p.m. (Registration for the pie baking contest ended Oct. 14).
    The kettle corn is among 21 food booths hosted by local organizations. One new food will be caramel apples and toffee sold by Project Graduation 2012.
    “It’s hard to believe it’s been 35 years,” Atkins said Friday, Oct. 14, as he brought his furniture. In 2010 his “Moosehead Works” won second place in the Best of Show contest in this Hannibal Arts Council festival.
    Atkins recalled that in the beginning the festival was in November, and he is glad it was changed to October, after one year three inches of snow fell during the festival. For the first nine years he did woodcarving, such as his “spirit faces” and also carvings of Norman Rockwell characters, such as blood brothers at a clubhouse.
    On the 10th year of the festival, Atkins began helping his church sell kettle corn, and has “been doing it ever since.” Hydesburg UMC began selling kettle corn as a major fund-raiser after (the late) Bill and Sue Locke found a recipe, Atkins explained. “It’s been a good fund-raiser for the church" and is now coordinated by his Helping Hands Sunday School Class with help from the other church members.
    “We sold $300 to $400 worth the first year,” he said. Although he was wearing welder’s gloves, pouring the corn “burnt the hair off both my arms,” he said. After counting “more than 120 people in line for kettle corn” one year, Atkins helped speed up the popping by designing a “double-barreled” popper.
    This year Atkins’ booth will feature his wood furniture, such as his “brand new antique mother’s rocking chair.” The chairs are walnut or box elder. The light-colored box elder wood has some red natural coloring. The walnut is two-toned, the lighter from sapwood and dark from heartwood from the center of the tree. They are indoor chairs, although he has park benches of cedar, oak and ash. Atkins now focuses on his business, building insulated concrete form homes, and mainly does woodcarving at the folklife festival.
    Page 2 of 2 - Atkins is looking forward to the festival, because he enjoys “coming down and visiting with people from out of town.”
    For more details about the festival see hannibalarts.com.
    Folklife festival schedule
    Saturday, Oct. 15, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    Sunday, Oct. 16, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    Saturday
    9 a.m. – Children’s Parade participants meet at Hannibal Arts Council
    10 a.m. - Children’s Parade on Main Street
    Bird and Main Streets
    11 a.m. – Judy Schmidt & Friends
    1 p.m. – L.A. Suess
    1:30 p.m. – Pie Eating Contest Registration
    2 p.m. – Pie Eating Contest
    Hill and Main Streets
    10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – L.E.A.P. Children’s Area Open
    1 p.m. – 3 p.m. – Pelts/Fur Display – Booth 61
    1 p.m. – Judy Schmidt & Friends
    3 p.m. – L.A. Suess
    Center and Main Streets
    11 a.m. – L.A. Suess
    1 p.m. – Lucky Star Stompers
    3 p.m. – Judy Schmidt & Friends
    Sunday
    12:30 p.m. – Rain Date - Children’s Parade participants meet at Hannibal Arts Council
    1:00 p.m. – Rain Date - Children’s Parade on Main Street
    Bird and Main Streets
    9:30 a.m. - First Christian Church – Old Time Church Service
    Noon. – L.A. Suess
    1 p.m. – Pie Baking Contest
    2 p.m. – Pie Auction
    3 p.m. – Judy Schmidt & Friends
    Hill and Main Streets
    10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – L.E.A.P. Children’s Area Open
    1 p.m. – 2 p.m. – Pelts/Furs Display – Booth 61
    1 p.m. – L.A. Suess
    Center and Main Streets
    1 p.m. – Judy Schmidt & Friends
    2 p.m. – L.A. Suess
    Musical exhibitors and strolling performance are also featured:
    Daniel Ebers – Mandolin - Strolling
    Mark Holland – Native American Flute – Booth 3
    L.A. Suess – Banjo, Harmonica and MandolinRag Tag – Irish and Celtic Folk Music
    Ned Behrensmeyer – Piano – In front of Java Jive
     
     
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