The 24th Annual Pennsylvania Dutch Festival kicked off at Reading Terminal Market on Thursday. Vendors gathered at center court to create and sell quintessential treats and goods of the Pennsylvania Dutch.
At the beginning of the Terminal’s lunch rush, Hatville Deli’s Sarah King wound dough into a ring in a small fryer for Rabarah Davis. After King added a liberal coat of powdered sugar to the funnel cake, she handed it over to a dancing Davis.
“There’s a lot of different food and people getting together,” said Davis about the festival who came to the Terminal for the Pa. Dutch specialities.
Other vendors churned homemade ice cream and grilled pork sausage topped with home cured relish.
“Growing up, you just get used to it,” said King, who lives in Lancaster County, and can’t say why people are so fond of traditional Pa. Dutch food.
At Sweet as Fudge Candy Shoppe’s stand, Paul Fisher combined sugar and nuts with corn syrup in an over-sized copper kettle to form a “hard crack” peanut brittle at 300 degrees.
Annie Kauffman’s white apron was spotted with chocolate frosting and jelly behind the donut counter. Salivating customers lined up to purchase and to gawk at donuts emerging after seven minutes in the fryer. Kauffman wondered about the popularity of Pa. Dutch foods for a moment and laughed, “I don’t make the donuts, I just sell them. But they’re made on the spot.”
In addition to food vendors were traditional crafts such as quilts and decorative wood tchotchkes.
Behind a colorful display, Rebecca Glick, a seamstress for more than 20 years sowed oven mitts. Gary Vendetti drove Glick into Philadelphia from Lancaster and sat behind the crafts.
“People say to me Amish men work hard, but I say the women work even harder,” said Vendetti.
The 24th Annual Pennsylvania Dutch Festival continues Friday inside the Reading Terminal Market and Saturday the festivities moves outside to Filbert Street between 11th and 12th Streets, where visitors can hear live bluegrass music, and take a horse and buggy rides, or visit the petting zoo.