Sauder Village: Fiddles and Farm Day 7.10

Written by David Green.

Traditional bluegrass and folk tunes played on a fiddle. The smells of fried chicken and mashed potatoes. The feel of straw between your fingers and the sweet taste of hand-cranked ice cream. 

On Saturday, visitors to Sauder Village will engage all of their senses during the annual Fiddle Contest and Summer on the Farm event. The day will feature many historic farm demonstrations with plenty of hands-on activities for all ages to enjoy.

At the Village’s historic Spring House, guests can help make butter with a churn, make hand-cranked ice cream, and watch cream separating demonstrations. Other unique hands-on activities include rope making, gardening, straw tick stuffing, stringing leather britches and grating soap.

Weather permitting, threshing demonstrations in the fields are planned and guests can learn more about threshing meals of the past as costumed guides in the 1910 homestead prepare this bountiful meal. They will also be able to watch goose picking demonstrations and try their hand at flailing wheat.

At the Natives and Newcomers display, visitors will have an opportunity to try cordage making, and at 2 p.m. they can help set up a wigwam. Special guest Tamara Spillis from Napoleon will be on hand to demonstrate traditional native stone and bone tools, as well as other activities.

Guests will have an opportunity to try making a traditional hooked rug, play old-fashioned games, and watch soap making demonstrations. An old-fashioned spell down is planned in the District 16 School and all ages are encouraged to participate.

“Summer on the Farm is a great day for families and children of all ages to really connect with their past,” said Andi Erbskorn, Curator of Education for the Village. “Every day at Sauder Village we share with guests what daily life was like in Northwest Ohio in the 1800s. On our Farm Days, we let our visitors try many of the same activities we demonstrate each day. It really makes the past come alive and it’s a lot of fun, too.”

Fiddlers from throughout the region will gather in Founder’s Hall for the 28th annual Fiddle Contest. Student and adult competitions are planned.

The competition will begin at 1 p.m. with student competition, and following the tallying of student scores the adult competition will begin. Ricky Prater and the Midnight Travelers will perform their music at 12:30 p.m.

“Our annual Fiddle Contest is always a favorite event for guests of all ages,” said Jan Nofziger, event coordinator.

Each contestant must play a hoedown and a waltz using old time style and techniques, and each contestant will have five minutes to perform. Judging will be based on a point scale in the areas of fiddle style and technique, rhythm and timing, difficulty of selection, tone quality, and showmanship and crowd appeal.

For more information, call 800/590-9755 or visit

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