The Wilmington Historical Society is hosting the Wilmington Whiteface Heritage Festival on Saturday, June 15th from 11 am-4pm at Festival Field located at 2 Cunningham Lane (just off Springfield Road) in Wilmington. One of three events happening throughout the day, it is free and the public is encouraged to attend. The Heritage Festival will follow the 3rd annual Whiskey Run event which begins at 9:30am. The final event of the day is a Speakeasy Soiree at Pourman’s Tap House which will take place from 8pm-11pm, also free and open to the public. All 3 events are a benefit for the Wilmington Historical Society which is raising funds for a new history center building.
Sponsored by Haselton Lumber, High Peaks Builders, Inc., Owaissa Club, Pourman’s Tap House, and Chalet Whiteface/Rudy’s Scar Bar & Grille, many of the activities of the Heritage Festival focus on the area’s historically recurrent theme of whiskey. In its early days, the Jay/Wilmington area had the reputation of providing good rye whiskey to the American troops as part of their daily ration during the Battle of Plattsburgh in the War of 1812. Just over 100 years later during Prohibition, with its location close to the Canadian border, Wilmington became a safe haven for rum runners transporting illicit spirits across the border. Currently Wilmington is home to the cooperage US Barrel. “We have expanded the Heritage Festival this year to include more of our local history as an active sensory experience to connect people to their past with lots of activities appropriate for children as well.” stated Karen Peters, President of the Society.
New this year is a concert by Dave Ruch (daveruch.com) from 1pm-3pm, with audience participation entertainment featuring 19th century Adirondack Folk music. The Battle of Plattsburgh costumed re-enactors/ and encampment, including demonstrations, marches, and musket and cannon fire will provide colorful activity for the day. At 12:30pm a ceremony will be held honoring the War of 1812 soldiers of the Jay/Wilmington area featuring speaker Matt Boire of the Greater Adirondack Ghost and Tour Company. Music, food, heritage crafters and artisans offering unique products for sale, traditional folk art demonstrations, displays, and craft whiskey and beer tastings will be among the unique happenings at Wilmington’s Festival Field. Food will be provided by Papa Duke’s Barbeque and Green Goddess Foods. Distillers and brewers on hand to offer tastings and sales include Gristmill Distillers of Keene, Springbrook Hollow Farm Distillery of Queensbury, Murray’s Fools of Altona, Mountain Spirit Distilling of Plattsburgh, Blue Line Brewery of Saranac Lake and Valcour Brewery of Plattsburgh. Artisans and Crafters will provide a unique shopping experience with their handcrafted items. Attendees are encouraged to participate in raffles and a silent auction to benefit the Society.
The Wilmington Whiteface Heritage Festival is free and open to the public. For further information contact the Wilmington Historical Society, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.adkwhiskeyrun.com , www.facebook.com/WilmingtonHistoricalSociety/ or www.wilmingtonhistoricalsociety.org The Battle of Plattsburgh re-enactors and Dave Ruch music are sponsored by a Humanities New York Grant with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.