Travel Back in Time in January

Travel “back in time” to a simpler life, before you could run to the local market or shop and buy any item you might need. This January, several Arkansas State Parks are offering workshops and classes that allow participants to experience the ways of life of our ancestors.

Crowley’s Ridge State Park in Paragould hosts a Hoppin’ John Dutch Oven Demonstration on Jan. 1. Hoppin’ John is a traditional Southern dish served on New Year’s Day for good luck. Participants will learn how to make the entrée using the Dutch oven method favored in our Arkansas State Parks, as well as how to clean and care for the cast iron pots. Attendees will also get an opportunity to sample the “good luck” dish. 

Our ancestors believed in the adage, “waste not, want not.” Very little was thrown away. Old clothing could be used for a variety of items, including rugs. Learn how to make your own floor covering out of old clothes during the Rug Crafting Workshop at Powhatan Historic State Park in Powhatan on Jan. 24. Participants use a tool made from an old toothbrush to make woven floor mats that look similar to braided or crocheted rugs. 

There was a time when beauty products were made at home and not purchased at a department store! Learn how to make your own alluring necessities when Village Creek State Park in Wynne hosts a Natural Beauty Workshop on Jan. 24. Participants learn how to make their own items that are not only good for the skin but the environment as well, including lotion bars, lip balm, sugar scrubs, facial masks and bath soaks. Reservations are required and must be made by Jan. 1. 

Davidsonville Historic State Park in Pocahontas offers Craft Day at the Park: Crochet and Whisk Broom Workshops on Jan. 31. Learn skills practiced by Arkansas pioneers as artisans from the Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View teach the basic skills of crocheting and broom making. Participants can take one or both of the classes. 

Here’s wishing you and yours a safe and wonderful 2015!