TITUSVILLE, N.J.—It promises to be a wedding of historic proportions on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2009, when Mary Tolmie and Charles Napravnik plan to “get hitched” at Howell Living History Farm’s annual Plowing Match.
The couple met at the match several years ago, where they were competing in the annual event. That chance meeting of kindred spirits led them to want to celebrate their vows at a place dear to their hearts. So at noon this year, following a morning of plowing events, the two plan to tie the knot in front of 100 guests – and in time to enjoy the afternoon plow match obstacle driving course!
At Howell, the Big Hitch is a traditional event that involves hooking a number of horses or oxen to a wagon, and is a photographic opportunity for visitors. This year, the Big Hitch takes on a whole new meaning.
The 26th Annual Plowing Match is open to the public, and is from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 5. Residents of Mercer County and beyond can come to watch and participate in the event, which features old-fashioned plowing and obstacle course competitions, craft exhibits, pony rides for children, and lots of food, music, and old-fashioned fun.
Several teams of draft animals from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York are entered in the match, which tests the performance of farmers, their horses and oxen, and their plows as they turn furrows in the Fine Plowing class. Visitors aged 16 and older can try their hand at plowing in Novice and Old Timer classes held at 11 a.m.
Following the contest, ribbons and trophies will be presented to winners of all three classes during a special ceremony held on the farmhouse front lawn at 1 p.m.
Children’s activities will be offered from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., including pony rides ($5) and a craft program, “Boot Scraper” ($4). Sheep, chickens and pigs can be seen in the farmyard area all day.
Beginning at noon, hungry plowers and visitors can lunch on roast pork sandwiches, barbecue chicken, Kosher franks and Howell Farm potatoes and sweet corn. Noontime festivities will include music by the Jugtown Mountain String Band, plowing award presentations, and demonstrations by the New Jersey Museum of Agriculture.
At 2:15 p.m., visitors can watch as teamsters use their animals to pull a wagon through an obstacle course.
Prizes for the match are furnished by the Friends of Howell Farm, and made possible through donations from Janssen Pharmaceutica of Hopewell Township, Trap Rock Industries of Kingston and J. & G. Conard of Flemington.
The rain date for the event is Saturday, September 12. Howell Farm is located on Valley Road in Hopewell Township, just off Route 29 two miles south of Lambertville, N.J. Parking and admission are free. Howell Farm is maintained and operated by the Mercer County Park Commission. For more information call (609) 737-3299 or visit websites www.howellfarm.org. or www.mercercounty.org.
WHAT: Mercer County’s Howell Living History Farm to hold 26th Annual Plowing Match
WHEN: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 5
WHERE: Howell Living History Farm, 70 Wooden’s Lane, Lambertville, just off Valley Road.