The six-page yellow brochure, which is 9¼ inches tall, provides all of the details of the five-day event.1
Siss Noch Unvergleichlich, the festival's slogan, means "It's Still Incomparable."
Pennsylvania Dutch Days began in 1949, having been founded by members of the 1948-49 Pennsylvania Dutch Dialect Class of the Hershey Evening School, and had its final year of operation in 1979.
But its spirit lives on in central Pennsylvania. The Kutztown Folk Festival2, which has been going strong for 65 years, is probably the biggest and best-known Pennsylvania Dutch event in Pennsylvania these days. It has many of the same kinds of attractions, although on a larger scale, that were featured at this event in Hershey in 1962.
Here are some highlights of the 1962 event, from the brochure:
1. "Focal point of the great exposition is the Sports Arena housing the working crafts and displays. In the center these activities are the quilting parties conducted by ladies of the area Churches of the Brethren. Here nimble fingers sew each stitch with loving care while colorful patterns emerge as living testimonials to their art."
2. Outdoor exhibits: "Included in this group are the apple-butter boilers, the village blacksmith, flax breaking and spinning, shingle making, agricultural displays, dairy cattle shows, farm implement exhibits, and the Pennsylvania Poultry Federation Fete."
3. "Educational programs concerning the Arts, Crafts, Folklore and Philosophy of the Penna. Dutch are held weekdays."
4. "Featured are expert Bands; plus Strollers Saturday and Sunday. Talented Folk Groups daily amuse the crowds with Dutch dialect and English programs."
5. Other events listed on the daily schedule were a seed guessing contest, an FFA hog show, old-time hymn singing, an auction of antique merchandise, free square dancing in a ballroom, and the crowning of the Pennsylvania Poultry Industry Queen.
6. And, of course, FOOD.
Speaking of food: related posts
- Pennsylvania Dutch recipe for funeral pie (aka raisin pie)
- Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine: Schnitz and knepp recipe on old napkin
- Enjoy a couple "Best-Loved Pennsylvania Dutch Recipes"
- Cooking up some calf's head soup, pawnhaas, tzitterli and streivlin
If you have any memories or insights regarding Pennsylvania Dutch Days in Hershey, share them in the comments section!
1. While this event was being held — from Aug. 22-26, 1962 — the Philadelphia Phillies went 1-4. They lost three games to the San Francisco Giants and one to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Phillies were 81-80 that season under Gene Mauch. Third baseman Don Demeter was their best player.
2. Kutztown is about 60 miles northeast of Hershey.