Thousands got a taste of a simpler time during opening day at the Kutztown Folk Festival. Saturday was the kick off of the 63rd annual event in Berks County.
It's the yearly celebration of Pennsylvania Dutch culture. Thousands flocked to the Kutztown Folk Festival to learn about the heritage that shaped the area.
"It was chosen 63 years ago," explained Executive Director Dave Foots. "Kutztown still had the most traditional Pennsylvania German customs and morays, speaking the language and such, of any place in Pennsylvania."
The whole 9 day event is geared towards family fun.
"We've been coming here for years."
Matt Lawrie and his brood made the trip extra special by camping nearby. They were looking forward to checking out all the displays.
"The food, the crafts," smiled Lawrie. "And the games for the kids are so much fun."
"They have something for everyone," said Jennifer Bressler. "I mean they have good food, they have great food, they have crafts."
Last year Bressler says there was too much to see during her one day visit. But this afternoon she was prepared.
"We got the map this year and we have a game plan ha-ha so we're just making our way around to see what they have."
It's the oldest, continuously operated folk life festival in America and it's always a hot spot for visitors, but on days where the mercury rises it's important to stay cool.
"Stay in the shade, said Lawrie. "We look at some of the venders and stay under the tent."
And when water isn't doing the trick, folks say they turn to treats like root beer and birch beer. The festival also has misting bridges and water features to keep visitors fresh.
"We came a little bit earlier then I think we might have just to try to beat the heat," said Bressler. "But we were definitely gonna come anyway."
And in case anything should happen while you're enjoying the exhibits or funnel cake, organizers say they're ready to take care of it.
"We've got anywhere from 8-12 EMTs on the grounds at all times," said Foots. "They have almost a complete hospital built here for emergency services."
The 63Rd annual Kutztown Folk Festival runs through July 8th.