Over 100 crafters are expected for the 41st annual Old Iron Works Days festival set for Oct. 12-13 at Maramec Spring Park near St. James.
The festival, sponsored by the James Foundation, will feature demonstrations of crafts that were important to the way of life in the mid-1800s era. Visitors of the festival will learn about doll making, quilting, wood carving, arrowheads making and blacksmithing, among other crafts. Several of the demonstrations will offer participation in educational and fun craft activities for all ages.
“Our crafters are 90 percent demonstration and 10 percent selling so every one of them will be demonstrating their craft,” said James Foundation secretary Susie Hauck. “We also have a Civil War group that comes in. They wear old uniforms and talk about that era.”
Live entertainment will be featured each day on the main stage. The Ozark Spirit Cloggers puts on a high energy show in addition to lively music provided by the Ozark Rounders and The Sterlings bluegrass band. “We have music groups throughout the park, too, doing songs from that era,” Hauck said.
The Ozark Rounders perform at 1 p.m. Saturday, the Ozark Spirit Cloggers at 2:00, The Sterlings at 2:30, followed by the Cloggers again at 3:30 and the Ozark Rounders again at 4 p.m.
The schedule flips on Sunday when The Sterlings perform at 1 p.m., the Cloggers at 2:00, the Rounders at 2:30, the Cloggers at 3:30 and The Sterlings again at 4 p.m.
The festival typically draws about 10,000 people to the park over two days. Crafters can be found in three areas: near the old irons works ruins, by the Maramec Museum and next to the Ozark Agriculture Museum playground, Hauck said.
Some of the other crafts include basket weaving, beekeeping, rag rug crocheting, crosscut sawing, stained glass, spinning and wool dyeing, storytelling, tin smithing, quilting, rope making, chair caning and soap making.
Although there is no connection to the festival, Iron Days weekend is a traditional time for yard sales in and around St. James.
“That’s when people decide to have their yard sales from St. James out this way and around the outskirts and out the other way,” Hauck said. “There are many, many yard sales. It has nothing to do with us other than they do it the same weekend because they are aware there’s more traffic flow through the city.”
Daily admission to Old Iron Works Days is $15 per carload or free with a Maramec Spring Park season pass. Maramec Spring is located on Highway 8 about eight miles east of St. James.
For more information, call the James Foundation at 573-265-7124 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.