Pioneer Days set for this weekend in New Albany

NEW ALBANY – This weekend in New Albany, hundreds of Northeast Mississippians will be introduced – or reintroduced – to life as it was here generations ago.
Friday and Saturday, the Union County Heritage Museum will host its ninth annual Pioneer Days celebration, with dozens of volunteers exhibiting old-timey skills and the tools that went with them.
“Manpower, mule power, making do, shaped-note singing and the ingenuity of the rural heritage of Union County will be live and in person and on exhibit,” said museum director Jill Smith.
Friday’s exhibition is primarily for school children: Several hundred elementary school students from across Union County and beyond will try out their forebears’ food, childhood tasks, entertainment and education. The two-day celebration continues Saturday for the general public.
Pioneer Days visitors can taste boiled peanuts and sassafras tea, wash clothes on a rub board, shell corn, churn butter and saw firewood, among other activities. Children can also reprise their ancestors’ childhood diversions by making shuck dolls, learning shape-note singing and competing in a watermelon seed-spitting contest.
Domestic arts on display will include spinning, weaving, tatting (lace making), quilting and basketweaving. Mule-powered hay baling, old-timey gardening, rope making and log cabin construction also will be exhibited.
Saturday hours for Pioneer Days will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is a donation of one’s choice. For more information, log on to www.ucheritagemuseum.com or call (662) 538-0014.
Smith and her volunteers invite area residents to come to the event and experience “life in the past lane.”
Contact Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or errol.castens@djournal.com.

Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal