Youngsters will learn that doing chores is fun at this event.

King Manor Museum will host the third annual Traditions Festival on its Jamaica property from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, and again on Sunday, May 20.

The weekend will mix the food, music, and art that were popular in Queens in the 1700s with the trendy activities and cuisine of modern times. Crafts will include early American broom-making, blacksmithing, spinning and carding, loom weaving, costumed hearth cooking, Filipino calligraphy, Mexican dressmaking, Korean cooking, and live music. Plus, visitors will have the opportunity to meet the artisans, ask questions, and try their hands at the crafts.

Here’s a current list of scheduled presenters.

  • Cheyney McKnight, a living historian who runs the interpretation company Not Your Momma’s History, will do 19th century African American down hearth cooking.
  • Carol Beckerman will demonstrate 18th century weaving.
  • Lauri Beckerman will make brooms in the 18th century style. Usually decked out in Colonial garb and a bonnet, she puts stalks of sorghum into a wood-and-metal machine that binds the stalks together with hemp twine. Then she cuts off the bristled ends with a blade.
  • Barbara Tornabene will do 18th century spinning.
  • Christopher van Wickler, who also works as an historical interpreter at Old Bethpage Village, will do some 18th century blacksmithing.
  • Braata Productions, a nonprofit Caribbean arts group, will offer papier-mâché with a West Indian twist.
  • Soh Young Lee-Segredo will cook Korean cuisine.
  • The Queens-based Calpulli Mexican Dance Company will display Mexican dance costumes and accessory designs.
  • Mark Libatique will teach Filipino Baybayin calligraphy.
  • The Autism Society Habilitation Association will offer Indian and Bengali cottage industry works.

Plus, Drumsongs Productions will play music from Africa and the African Diaspora and show off their talking drums. Folk musicians Larry Moser, Mary Nagin, Max Rowland, and Jack Dillon will play 18th century American music.

There will also be tours of King Manor, while Queens Library employees will set up on the front porch so visitors can sign up for library cards.

Admission is free.

King Manor Museum is located inside Rufus King Park in the vicinity of 150th Street and Jamaica Avenue. Rufus King (1755 to 1827) was the youngest signer of the U.S. Constitution, a senator, an ambassador to Great Britain, a candidate for president, and a outspoken abolitionist who paid workers rather than practice slavery. He lived on a farm in the park that currently bears his name, as did his son, John Alsop King, who was governor on New York State, and other descendants. They raised livestock and sowed wheat, barley, potatoes, corn, strawberries, apples, and peaches.

The museum, which was converted in 1900, was once a three-story, three-chimney mansion with clapboard windows where the King family lived from 1805 to 1896. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. The indoors has furniture, glassware, clothes, musical instruments, toys, ceramics, paintings, and prints.

Images: King Manor Museum


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