Guthrie-Kennedy anniversary weekend

Sandra Parks announced to local Historic City News reporters that on Saturday October 6, the St Johns River Farmers Market at Alpine Groves Park would host a special celebration for two famous men who lived along the Bartram Trail; Woody Guthrie and Stetson Kennedy.

Folk legend Woody Guthrie, born one-hundred years ago this year, is famous for songs such as “This Land Is Your Land”, “So Long It’s Been Good to Know You”, and “Pastures of Plenty”.

Kennedy’s home at Beluthahatchee on SR-13, is a National Literary Landmark where Guthrie wrote his autobiography “Seeds of Man”. Several times during the 1940’s and ’50’s, Guthrie stayed at Kennedy’s home, where he wrote over 80 songs about Florida.

When Kennedy ran against George Smathers for the Senate, Guthrie’s wrote Kennedy’s campaign song, which was brought to younger audiences by Billy Bragg and Wilco.

This year is also the 70th anniversary of Stetson Kennedy’s Florida classic book, “Palmetto Country” which features stories he gathered during the Federal Writers Project in the 1930’s. Kennedy is best known for his infiltration of the Ku Klux Klan during the 1940’s. He died last year at the age of 94.

The Alpine Grove Famers Market invites friends, family, and fans to celebrate Kennedy’s 96th birthday by enjoying music, folk arts and crafts, exhibits of organizations related to Kennedy’s work, fresh produce from regional farmers , and abundant food. Musical entertainment is provided by Bob Patterson, Paul Garfinkel, Al Poindexter and River Rise.

From 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., visit the Alpine Groves historic site located at 2060 SR-13, in Switzerland and then, take the shuttle to Beluthahatchee Park. Although Stetson’s cottage is under renovation as a museum, visitors can see exhibits of Woody Guthrie artifacts and the Stetson Kennedy Palmetto Country exhibit at the meeting center in Beluthahatchee Park and preview the documentary film about Kennedy’s life.

Admission is free for this event, which is co-sponsored by the North Florida Folk Network, the North Florida Vendors Association, the St Johns County Recreation and Parks Department, and the Stetson Kennedy Foundation.

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