November 20-23, 2009
Our rural ancestors, with little blest,
Patient of labour when the end was rest,
Indulged the day that housed their annual grain,
With feasts, and off’rings, and a thankful strain.
The Washington County Regiment turned out in full force to celebrate Thanksgiving with the public as the Wataugans did long ago. The weather was ideal and the weekend abounded with all manner of activities. At 10 AM both days, the Regiment assembled for inspection and the raising of the colors. Every cabin and camp had hearths and fires blazing, members cooking like this was for a king (George?), preparing for the communal meal and inviting the public to watch. The Bounty began at 1 PM on Saturday. When the tables were set, it reminded me of the movie “Field of Dreams” when the voice said to Kevin Cosner “Build it and he will come”. The members of the regiment built a frontier buffet that was 30 feet in length if an inch, no two foods duplicated , and EVERYBODY came, natives, settlers and public alike! Interspersed with the filling of the stomachs, various members demoed crucial living skills that would have been employed at the time. These things included food preservation, corn husk doll making (got to keep the children happy too), hearthfire cooking, fire making using flint and steel, weaving, spinning, hand sewing to name a few. In the mid afternoon, both days, the Regiment drilled and demonstrated military techniques that was so critical for the protection of the settlement. On Sunday, in addition, there was an 18th century worship service.
The two day event was spectacularly attended with a steady stream of people who celebrated Thanksgiving with the Regiment on that beautiful Fall weekend.
Please watch the video and see the article done by the Johnson City Press about the Harvest Celebration: