It is snowing, it is freezing cold, and ice is on the way. So let us turn our thoughts to happier, warmer times. Yes, it is time to start thinking of the Annual Five Barns Picnic! Now maybe you are new to the forum here and are wondering what Five Barns might be.
The Five Barns Picnic is a woodworking get together hosted by the Grumbine family and has its roots in people from the forums meeting one another going all the way back to 1995! For years we hosted small gatherings at our old home in Easton, but now that we have some ground, we have made it a bigger event. The picnic is a two day event in eastern PA, just west of Allentown. It is open to anyone who wants to come. All you need to do is tell me you are coming, how many are coming, and when you are coming. We endeavor to provide food for all, but it is also a pot luck sort of thing, and we have all come to anticipate some of the regional delicacies that folks like to bring along. Nothing is required, and there is no admittance fee, but contributions are gratefully accepted.
For two days there will be all sorts of things going on in a woodworking way. There will be turning demonstrations (of course!) but there will also be other demos. In years past we have had router demos, tool sharpening, marquetry, and even a Woodmizer bandsaw mill operating in the barnyard. But, this is a family event! Wives (husbands) children, significant others, are all welcome. We have a large food court type of area covered and away a bit from the shop for those who want to get away from the noise and dust for a while to eat and chat. We have a small pool, 18’ round, which is open to anyone who wants to get in. You are responsible for your own children at all times, regardless of where they are or what they are doing!
People bring wood and tools and all sorts of things to swap. If you have made arrangements with someone else to buy or sell a tool, piece of machinery, etc, that is fine, but this is NOT a commercial event. There are no booths, no vendors, or anything like that. It’s a picnic!
There are some requirements for attendance. First, you need to write me via email. I am trying something new this year. Emails should be addressed to email@example.com. Please, please, please, if you write me and tell me you are coming, come. If you write and say you are coming, and then cannot because something came up, please let me know. It is very frustrating to have a list of 40 people who write to say, I might come, or I’ll see if there is nothing else to do that day, and then never show. It is also frustrating to have people say they are coming and then never show or bother to write and say so. We know things come up, but please consider that we need to know whether or not to plan for 20 people or 200. Second, I need a real name. This is my home, and while I suppose someone could very easily lie to me, it makes SWMBO a lot happier to know that we have guests coming with real names. Third, PLEASE do not bring your dog. We have had several dogs here, all unannounced, and while they have been very well behaved, if we get 20 or 30 dogs running around, it is going to be a madhouse. Not only does it get my dogs wound up, but then I have to explain to all the people who did not bring their dog why I let someone else bring theirs. I love dogs, but this is too big a gathering to have more than the two who live here, and even they can be a problem.
Lodging. People come to this thing from all over. There are a number of hotels close by. There are two campgrounds, one five miles and one 10 miles away. We also have plenty of room on our property for those who want to rough it in their tent or trailer.
Alcohol. In years past we have allowed it, and everyone has acted responsibly. I will continue to do so as long as everyone else behaves, but I have no qualms about dealing with someone who cannot control themselves. Alcohol and tools do not mix. If you want to drink, do it responsibly and stay away from the tools.
The dates are Friday and Saturday July 18 and 19. Sunday is our day of rest and we go to church. Anyone who wants to come along with us is welcome. Festivities start Friday after lunch – i.e. after 12:00 PM. If you show up early you will be put to work.
I will be making announcements and updates here on the forum, but the important stuff is always going to be by email. Directions and other information are conveyed by email. If you plan on coming, email me. Remember, direct your email to firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks, and we are looking forward to seeing you all here – well a lot of you anyway!