McGowan’s History Fest brings learning to life

McGowan’s Farm is turning back the clock this week for its annual History Fest.
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 8:02 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 6, 2022 at 8:03 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - McGowan’s Farm is turning back the clock this week for its annual History Fest.

Each fall, it aims to bring history from the books to life with interactive and immersive experiences.

“Being able to see something in completion and then being able to touch it makes a much bigger impression on kids than reading something in a book that you’re falling asleep to,” said Takara Olson, a blacksmith.

History Fest takes people through several time periods including the 17th Century Scotland and Old West.

It features a wide variety of entertainment like belly dancing, cider making and blacksmithing.

“This is a live history lesson brought to you by some really special people who want to share history, and be able to answer questions and inspire children to have hands-on activity,” baker Tamara Stoffel said.

Thousands of kids from home, private and public schools take part in the event each year.

“All the little crafts and trades that made up life through history are dying art nowadays,” Olson added. “Introducing more children to them influences the next generation to have that interest in history and that drive to find their little niche.”

All schools are invited to attend Friday before History Fest opens to the public Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“See real cooking, see real chopping, see how life was,” Stoffel stated. “That makes it more exciting than just reading it from a distance or hearing somebody explain it.”

Organizers say they’re looking for more volunteers to help with next year’s History Fest. Anyone interested should contact organizers at (507) 625-2257. There is also a History Fest Facebook group that community members can join for more information and updates.

History Fest takes place McGowan’s Farm, which is located at 20002 Hawkeye Lane in Mankato.