After waiting in long lines for chicken and noodles, cheese soup, funnel cakes and other taste treats, the people meandering along Hannibal’s North Main Street between 100 booths were selecting some special gifts Saturday and Sunday at the Autumn Historic Folklife Festival.
Among them were John and Paula Baima of Collinsville, Ill. Paula was selecting a walking stick decorated with an Eagle.
She explained that her husband, two sons and two of their grandsons are all Eagle Scouts, and the hiking stick with an eagle is for one grandson who is currently working on his Eagle Scout award.
Several artisans said the Hannibal festival is close to home but they also show their work across the country. One example was the First Place winner, SJ Pottery LLC, owned by Sue Skinner and Joseph Jostes of Bethel, Mo. “Our mainstay is traditional redware (made with red clay),” Jostes said.
“We work with historic sites, museums and places like Colonial Williamsburg.” Their pottery is popular on the East Coast, and during the past few weeks they had been in weekend shows in Ohio and Virginia.
Some came from other states, such as Second Place winner, Sandhill Folk Co. jewelry, owned by Ron and Donna Johnson of LaFarge, Wis.
Winner in festival
nearly all 36 years
Several were new to the local festival, while others had been there nearly all 36 years it has been hosted by the Hannibal Arts Council. After receiving the President’s Choice award, Sugar Grove Pottery owner Dan Copeland (with his wife, Charlene) of Rushville, Ill., reported he had been in the festival for many years, since it was still in November, before being changed to October. As winners of this award, they were selling several pieces of pottery to the HAC to be displayed at their gallery at 105 S. Main St.
The Best of Show award went to the 2000 Acre Woods Homestead blacksmith booth owned by Bob and B.J. Spinner of Eminence, Mo. They were participating in the Hannibal festival for the second year and planned to continue. Also working with an anvil at this booth were Daniel Haumesser, Isaac Haumesser and Doug Wallace.
Children were plentiful at the festival, where the LEAP program at Hannibal schools was hosting the children’s area. Among the children making headbands, necklaces, clothespin dolls and other old-fashioned toys were Caden Guymon, 5, of Warsaw, Ill., and Ben Richards, 4, of Hannibal.
Another busy child was Angele Rivera, whose mom explained they had moved to Shelbina from Carmel, Calif, four months ago. They were brought to the festival by a Shelbina friend, Sandy Jurado.
Food booths have
Some Hannibalians selling the food for non-profit organizations reported record sales, such as members of Hydesburg United Methodist Church, where Archella Sharkey and Laura Griffen reported record sales of kettle corn on Saturday.
Page 2 of 3 - As people were attracted by the aroma of the Philly cheesesteaks and taters sold by the Northeast Missouri Humane Society, Board President Dana Nuckols was proud of the booth’s award for Best Food at the festival. She said they won “because we have the best food and the best cause.”
Kimberly Molloy of Kane, Ill., said the food she had tried was very, very good, and she also had bought goat soap and honey.
At the booth where slices of buttered beer bread was selling swiftly, Kay Obermann said each member of the Eula Mainland Chapter of King’s Daughters made 18 loaves of bread.
The Hannibal Community Betterment Association booth, which benefits the Robinson Cemetery, sold out of pork steaks, and ham and beans on Saturday. On Sunday Harry Saunders explained, “we are well-supplied today, thanks to all the help. ... God provides.” Behind him, polish sausage and pork steaks were being grilled by Jeffrey and Bridget Miller.
At the 2013 Project Graduation booth, fuji apples were being cut up for caramel apples by HHS seniors Matt Karr, Andrew Richards and Katie Bowman. Matt’s mom, Joni Karr, said the fuji apples are tart and sweet and great for caramel apples.
Meeting the artists
Some people were visiting artists from whom they had already purchased pictures. At John Stoeckley’s booth, Marlys and Ken Treaster explained when Ken retired as principal at Hannibal Middle School earlier in 2012, the HMS staff commissioned Louisiana artist Stoeckley to draw a picture of the school. Treaster also has a picture of Hannibal High School and the college where he graduated.
Another couple greeting Stoeckley was Linda and Stu Hines of Ballwin, Mo. They had someone take their picture with Stoeckley and a copy of his picture of the Jewel Box in St. Louis, because they him to create it for their son, Brian Hines, and his fiancee, Genelle, who are getting married Nov. 3 in the Jewel Box.
One couple busy posing for photos with festival-goers was Hannibal’s official Tom and Becky, Lucas Cline and Brooke Burton.
Two brothers were sitting on a bench as they ate cinnamon rolls. Jay and Conner Arnold came with their parents, Jill and Todd Arnold of Hannibal. Jill had enjoyed the cheese soup and chicken and noodles. The boys said their dad helped make the cinnamon rolls that were being sold as a joint project of Clover Road Christian Church and the Mary Kay Bird Circle of King’s Daughters. With the family were the boys’ grandparents, Duane and Sandy Arnold of Memphis, Mo. Sandy said Saturday was her birthday and she ate chicken and noodles, and also green beans and ham.
Music is a big part of the festival, and this year a new group was making its festival debut. This was The Never Ready For Prime Time Players, an orchestra of local instrumentalists who obviously enjoyed combining their talents.
Page 3 of 3 - On one corner Danny Ebers on mandolin and L.A. Suess on harmonica and banjo were playing Ebers’ composition, “I Will Always Love You.”
Down the street, in the RaluGerri group, Madeline McUmber-House had joined her parents, Sarah and Dale McUmber-House, along with Eric Steitz and Rob Ahrens.
Old-time music also was performed by Judy Schmidt and Friends and in another area, RagTag, which was attracting more musicians Sunday afternoon. And the Lucky Star Stompers had danced during the two-day festival.
As the last of the booths was being removed from the farmer’s market area in the 200 block of Center Street, the final song to be heard was “Cruisin’ Down the River,” played on the calliope of the new Queen of the Mississippi. The big paddlewheeler was departing from Glascock’s Landing at 5:45 p.m. Sunday, after its passengers had been among the thousands attending the folklife festival.
See photo gallery for more festival photos.