On Saturday, Oct. 10, and Sunday, Oct. 11, Princess Place Preserve held the 11th-annual Creekside Festival.
Craftsman Richard Fulks displays homemade knives, which he created by cold-chiseling metal into blades and carving handles from real animal bones. He is among dozens of local historians and craftsmen to gather at the 11th-annual Creekside Festival to sell their products and educate the public.
For many of these craftsmen, the selling and making of the products is not just a hobby, but a way of life.
The sheaths in which Fulks' knives are kept are sewn of various animal hides. Creating and selling his products at events and festivals is his livelihood. He has been producing and selling his knives for almost six years.
Another craftswoman, Nancy Robinson, specializes in jewelry. She uses older methods to create rope, thread and beads. She creates spindles, with a piece of dried sweet potato as the base, to make her own thread out of wool and alpaca hair. She sells her products to supplement her income as a retiree. When asked why she preferred the festivals rather than an online store, she replied, “I cannot easily talk to people about my profession online."
The selling of the products gives the craftsmen the opportunity to teach the general public interesting facts about history. Robinson said, “I usually ask, ‘Hi, how are you? What would you like to know?’ I will often get off-the-wall questions, to which I always have a good answer.”
Living history interpreters and Seminole War historians Bettie and Earl DeBary travel the state of Florida and attend various festivals. All the information they share comes from original documents. Their son, Jeremy, who is a substitute history teacher, shares his parents' passion. He and his wife, Emily, also travel to festivals. Emily hand-sews the family's clothing and produces articles of clothing to sell at the festivals.