There is an annual event in our wonderful small town of Greenwood that has been held the last 10 years and will be held this Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4.
Airing of the Quilts is sponsored by the Alpha Delta chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha sorority and is a charitable project they have chosen to impact south Sebastian County through the South Sebastian County Historical Society, founded in 1963. The support from this community is also used to maintain the Museum, other structures and grounds in Greenwood.
Airing of the Quilts is a phrase used for many generations that welcomed spring by taking their quilts out of storage and putting them out in the sunshine to “air out and freshen.” The term “quilt” actually means “padded sack” and you can see that even in today’s quilts.
Unbeknownst to many, there are still many quilters in this area. Their passion and love for quilting has been handed down from grandparents, great-grandparents and beyond. Sometimes, worn-out clothing was used to make these quilts, which were a necessity to be used during the winter to keep warm.
Vintage quilts used natural dyes and are works of art. Some even tell a story of the time. There are 78 vintage quilts that are shown at this event along with contemporary quilts. One of the quilts is an 1822 flax-woven coverlet (loaned from the Nixon family) as well as a couple of quilts from the Civil War era. You will also see many newer quilts that are proudly displayed on porches throughout this community that are just as beautiful as the vintage quilts.
Donna Goldstein, former Historical Society officer, has been organizing the quilt show every year along with many volunteers to not only get the quilts ready, but also prepare the Historical Society Museum, the jail built in 1892, the log cabin built in 1848, an old barn and a one-room schoolhouse.
Because of the connection with the South Sebastian County Historical Society, the Airing of the Quilts event will be held this year on Friday, May 3 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, May 4 from 9a.m.-4 p.m. at the Bell Park Wilkinson Pavilion ($5 admission per person) as well as the Museum, jail, log cabin and the Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church at 103 W Denver Street in Greenwood.
On Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4 from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., there is the option of attending Miss Sue’s Tea Room luncheon at the Bell Park Wilkinson Pavilion for $8 where you will have a wonderful lunch of Old South Chicken Salad on a croissant, mixed field greens with seasonal fruit, choice of dessert and drink. You can either sit down and eat or take it with you.
Access to and looking at the many quilts in the different locations in Greenwood along with our area’s history is priceless. There are people who travel from all over the United States just to come to this event, which speaks to the quality and quantity of vintage quilts that are available and loaned by many people in this area. Many local people also participate in showing their quilts and many more people come to view and appreciate the skill, material and care involved in creating heirloom quilts.
Another very exciting part of the Airing of the Quilts comes in the form of a Civil War re-enactment and US Marshall re-enactment on Saturday, May 4. On that same day, there is also going to be a Wild West re-enactment by the Indian Territory Pistol Ears as well as Blacksmith demonstrations.
Music, we can’t forget about the musical talent in this area. Performing on Friday, May 3 will be dulcimer players at 2 p.m.-3 p.m. at the Historical Society cabin. On Saturday, May 4 there will be Bluegrass music performed by Common Thread at 10 a.m. and Nickeltown Road at 1 p.m.
Goldstein and her team certainly haven’t missed providing fun for the children. On Friday, May 3 at 9:45 a.m., there will be a large group of school children coming to participate in games from the 1800’s as well as a Spelling Bee in the old schoolhouse on the Historical Society grounds. Even those children who are home schooled will come and participate in these fun games such as Red Rover, Pick-Up-Sticks, Nine Pins, etc. Bring your children for some fun.
There will be so much to see May 3 and May 4 such as a Civil War canon firing at 10 a.m. on May 4. You will also see many people in period costumes of the time and the opportunity to take tours of the old schoolhouse, cabin, barn and jail.
Of course, there will be vendors selling their quilts and other handmade items, so be sure and come. Additionally, a silent auction and quilt raffle will also be taking place, you’ll want to get your tickets and place your bids.
We encourage you to display your beautiful quilts on your porch next weekend for all to see. And we look forward to seeing everyone coming out and looking at all of the quilts in our beautiful town.
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