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    Pioneer spirit

    The annual jubilee of old-fashioned crafts, music and food fill Heritage Village once again.

    By EILEEN SCHULTE

    © St. Petersburg Times,
    published October 26, 2001


    LARGO -- The 1880s buildings will be dressed up for fall, and the sounds of clogging, bluegrass music and cane grinding will fill the air at Heritage Village on Saturday during the 24th annual Country Jubilee.

    It's a day that 5,000 to 10,000 early Christmas shoppers look forward to each year. They come to buy gifts at the festival's 125 craft booths and flea market, which will feature plants and books at bargain prices.

    "It's kind of the start of the Christmas shopping season," said Mona Rohrbough, organizer of the event and president of the Pinellas County Historical Society. "There are many, many people who start way ahead."

    They also come for the folksy local music and other pastimes.

    If you're interested, the entertainment schedule looks like this: From 11 a.m. to noon it's Florida Songstory with Lee and Betsy Paulet; from noon to 1 p.m. it's Something Special, traditional folk and humor with Carl Wade and Barb Shaffer; from 1 to 2 p.m. it's the Beverly Hillbilly Cloggers, a line dancing troupe new to the event this year; from 2 to 3 p.m. it's Crabgrass Cowboys with Hapi and Patty Mckenzie; and from 3 to 4 p.m., it's Gulf Wind Bluegrass -- a group that used to go by the name the Porch Dogs -- led by Jack Furey.

    But children may be more keen on the all-day entertainment at the log house. That's where Jack Hartman will spin his earthy tales and sing songs just for them.

    They will also have a chance to have their faces painted by clowns and enjoy the petting zoo.

    Those who love crafts may want to see how they are made. For them, there will be rug hooking, weaving, embroidery, spinning, quilting, pine needle weaving, chair caning, cane grinding and blacksmith demonstrations.

    And antique cars will be on display at the Heritage Mercantile Store.

    "It's a beautiful setting," said Rohrbough. "That's the wonderful thing about Heritage Village. It's so pretty. The people sit under the trees and watch the entertainment, walk around and see the sights and buy crafts. They can also get decorating ideas. There are many good reasons to come."

    Including food.

    There will be the usual festival fare, such as hot dogs and hamburgers, but there will also be steak sandwiches, curly fries and food from Alessi Concessions and the Pie Factory.

    "You see people walking around eating everything," Rohrbough said.

    Admission to the event is free, but donations are appreciated. All proceeds benefit Heritage Village, especially its educational programs sponsored by the Pinellas County Historical Society.

    "We're trying to expand our library and make it the best place to come out and do research," said Rohrbough.

    If you go

    The Pinellas County Historical Society's 24th annual Country Jubilee will be from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Heritage Village, 11909 125th St. N, Largo. The event will feature 125 craft booths, craft demonstrations and children's activities. It's free, but donations are appreciated. There will be free parking off site at First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks, 12685 Ulmerton Road, Largo. Shuttle buses will transport visitors to the park beginning at 9:30 a.m.

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