Arts, crafts, prizes will highlight Festival

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 4, 2000

Features Editor

May 4, 2000 10 PM

Pike Pioneer Museum will be the site of the 18th Annual Jean Lake Festival this weekend opening at 9 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m Sunday and closing at 5 p.m. both days.

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The festival will feature arts and crafts and demonstrations of the art forms, art exhibits, student art displays, children’s activities, food booths and entertainment.

Another key feature of the event will be a drawing for a portrait painted by either of two local artists, Jim Campbell and Larry Shillabeer.

The drawing is sponsored by the newly-formed Troy Arts Guild and any proceeds raised will go toward restoration of the old Post Office in downtown Troy.

Macia Rice thinks the drawing represents a unique opportunity for local residents to have a renowned artist produce a portrait and to help restore a magnificant structure that can be used for the arts.

"It think this will be a super event to coincide with the Jean Lake Festival," Rice said. "We hope everyone will participate and help out with several worthwhile causes at the same time."

The festival will also include top-notch entertainment in the form of a JazzFest at the amphitheater Saturday and country and gospel groups on Sunday. JazzFest will include some of the best high school and college jazz bands in the area and they will play throughout the day. Sunday entertainment will begin at 12:45 p.m. and conclude at 4 p.m. The featured groups will be Michael McLendon and Brandi Connell, the Christianaires, First Baptist Church Choir and TSU Gospel Choir.

What makes the Jean Lake Festival unique among festivals is that it is surrounded by a working museum that lends a pioneer flavor to the festival.

The Pike Pioneer grist mill will be in operation grinding grits and corn meal, just like in the good ol’ days. The smokehouse will flavor the air with the aroma of smoked sausage and the hens and chicks will provide a little mood music.

A school marm will be teaching the three R’s in the schoolhouse and a clerk will have the general store open for business.

Biscuits will be in the baker in the demonstration cabin. The herb society will display culinary and medicinal herbs and the blacksmith will be at the forge.

Inside the museum, two rare exhibitions will display the works of folk artist Jean Lake and woodcarver Pugh Windham.

The works of both artists are now in private collections and this exhibition will be the largest showing of either of their works.

Doug Hawkins, who is overseeing the exhibitions, said because Jean Lake died at a relatively early age, the volume of her work is not that great.

"This is a rare opportunity to see a large display of Jean’s work," Hawkins said. "Pugh Windham, on the other hand, lived a longer life and carved full time for a while. It would be a guess but there could be as many as 300 of his carvings in existence. Hopefully, we will have around 60 on display at the museum."

In addition to the art exhibitions, there will be quilting and spinning demonstrations inside the museum and guided tours will also be given.

On the grounds, the Pioneer Express mini-train will be running and Grover Poole will be giving rides in his wagon.

At, 5:30 p.m. Saturday, the Torch Run will begin at the museum and follow Highway 231 to Murphree Street, down Three Notch, make two passes around the downtown square before heading down Academy Street and then to Troy Municipal Park where the lighting of the Millennium Torch will take place around 6:30 p.m.

The City of Troy’s Celebrate 2000 activities will begin around 4 p.m. with open house at City Hall. The dedication ceremony for the complex will begin at 6 p.m. Music, fun and fellowship will highlight the activities. Everyone is encouraged to make the Jean Lake Festival and Celebrate 2000 a part of their weekend plans.