Historic fair fun found at Fiddlers Grove

Sinclaire Sparkman • Updated Aug 24, 2017 at 11:00 AM

There is a lot to do at the fair, from riding rides to watching pig races the fun seems almost endless, but one thing that makes the Wilson County Fair stand out are the special activities offered in Fiddlers Grove Historic Village.

It’s a peaceful turn from the liveliness of carnival music, screaming from rides and bright flashing lights. The area is softly lit and offers plenty of seating. The village is made up of a variety of buildings that portray Wilson County history, and visitors can find a number of activities like soap making, story telling, marshmallow roasting, wood carving, quilting demonstrations, homemade ice cream, spinning, weaving, broom making, historic reenactments, sorghum making, corn husk dolls, a model train museum, blacksmithing, basket weaving, antique tractors, antique engines, antique cars, vendors and more. Wilson Bank & Trust offers free lemonade in the area each day of the fair. 

“We’re here almost year round,” said Gwen Scott, coordinator of Fiddlers Grove. “We take care of the vendors and make sure everyone is happy, but the fair is the special event for us. We’re here doing this kind of thing from April 1 through the end of October, and then we do the Festival of Lights after that.”

During the fair, some vendors will come from out of state to set up special demonstrations, like Lye soap made in an old fashioned stove, handmade jewelry and other things, but most activities in the area are available for the public even when the fair seems far away. 

“It’s always a lovely learning experience here,” said Helen Grubbs, a teacher at Watertown Middle School from Lebanon. 

The model train museum, woodcarvers, blacksmith, sewing, quilting and goat milk soap are a few things available at Fiddlers Grove throughout its open season. Even just walking around the village with its log cabin buildings and historic machinery feels like taking a trip back in time. The General Store and Model Train Museum are air conditioned buildings.

We always stop by the blacksmith and the guy who makes the brooms. For kids it is especially fun,” said Kitty Van Straaten, a Lebanon High School teacher from Hartsville. 

Fiddlers Grove also has it’s own Opry stage with performances each night of the fair. Music typically ranges from country to bluegrass. 

“We just want it to be a true life thing for people to imagine what life was like in the good old days when the county was first starting,” Scott said. “We’re trying to bring it all to life and preserve Wilson County History.” 

Entry to Fiddlers Grove is included in the price of admission to the Wilson County Fair. Vendors and buildings in the area operate during fair hours. 

When the fair is not in town the historical village is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. except during private events. The Model Train Museum is open Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Call 615-547-6111 for more information.

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