Celebrating Lincoln in Bostic

Apr. 13, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

The Town of Bostic held its second annual Lincoln Spring Festival on Saturday at the Bostic Lincoln Center, Bostic Park and on the Village Green.

Members of the community and visitors to the town enjoyed more than 30 food and craft vendors, heritage exhibits, classic cars and live entertainment.

Performances included a Sunshine Elementary School patriotic musical, pianist Debra Wray, Mountain Camp Band, Four Wheel Cab Co. and Medicine Show, Billy Hodges out of Sevierville, Tenn. and a Rutherford Community Theatre production of "Nancy Hanks, Bondswoman."

"My favorite part of the festival is seeing and meeting all the people, and telling them about the Bostic Lincoln Center," said Ann Calton, a member of the Bostic Lincoln Center Board of Directors. "Most people come from other towns across the county to attend. This year we had several new musicians, more vintage cars and different vendors set up."

Edith Edwards and her daughter Caroline provided kudzu vine craft demonstrations at the festival, teaching children how to weave dream catchers out of the vines.

"We come out to do some festivals throughout the year and are glad to be here supporting the Bostic Lincoln Center and festival," Caroline said.

The women first started using kudzu around 1963 on their family farm in Harris, where they fed the high-protein plant to the dairy cows. Then, around 1981, Edith discovered "The Book of Kudzu: A Culinary & Healing Guide," a publication dedicated to the many uses of the leafy vine plant.

From the kudzu leaves, Edith and Caroline produce shampoo, soap, snuff and treats like kudzu blossom jelly and quiche. The vines are weaved into everything from large baskets to fancy hats.

"You can do just about anything with kudzu," Edith said. "I've been eating kudzu for 30 years, and you can't go wrong with French fried kudzu leaves."

The festival also offered additional activities throughout the afternoon like wood turning and pottery demonstrations, an Easter egg hunt and egg race for children, tours of Lincoln Hill and an open house at the Bostic Lincoln Center.

The mission of the Bostic Lincoln Center is to collect, document, research and preserve the generational lore of the area by providing audio/visual histories, exhibits and programs that present traditional truths about Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States, being born on Puzzle Creek and other related records and memorabilia.