Beginning with a Dutch oven dinner and a concert with period music on Friday night at the historic Old Rock Church, the first Providence Founders Day HAMS Festival started the weekend of festivities. The April weather cooperated with the planned activities of wood carving demonstrations, trundle racing, storytelling, music and the Plein Air Art contest.
Local vendors were set up on the lawn surrounding the Old Rock Church with everything from tin signs to jewelry to Navajo Tacos and buffalo burgers to photography. Several of the booths at the festival were offering antiques and hand spun items.
More than one hundred children participated from local schools with children????????s art displayed on the walls of the Old Rock Church. This was a draw for people of all ages to walk through this ??????gallery?????? to see some of the artwork created by talented students.
Storytellers at the festival included Marlowe Adkins, Clive Romney, Leah Adkins-McMullin, David Sidwell and Larry Slade. Each of these performers shared stories from the history of Providence and Cache Valley, captivating the audience. Throughout the day on Saturday, singers such as the Willow Valley Singers, Sam Payne and the Ghosts of Gardner Village entertained festival goers.
Mingled between the storytellers and the singers were musicians like Cinnamon Creek, Old Ephraim, Willow Valley String Band and Sassafras. The music and entertainment was outside on an excellent spring day tucked under the pines where kids were playing, artists painting and people milling around.
The music and artist talent was organized by the Utah Pioneer Heritage Arts group who visit schools and communities around the state of Utah to promote the heritage of the state. Many of the participants are known locally from their participation in the community. Nationally renowned artists like Jerry Furhiman and Kay Homan from Providence were part of the Plein Air competition. All told, there were fifteen artists from Cache Valley and the Wasatch Front who participated with a theme of heritage.
There were a number of major sponsors of the festival including Cache Valley Media Group, Watkins Printing, Old Rock Church and Providence Inn, Area-Info.net, CL – Cache Landmark, Providence Pioneer Heritage, Inc. and Utah Pioneer Heritage Arts.
Karl Seethaler of the Providence Inn commented how pleased he was to have such a great turn out to the first Providence Founders Day HAMS Festival. The comments from festival goers throughout the day were overwhelmingly positive and many shared their desire to see the festival continue next year.