Within the Village palisade, Interpreters in period appropriate dress cook turkey, trout, corn on the cob, corn bread, and mixed berries on raised grates over an open fire, in clay and metal pots, on hot stones, as Monacans would have done in the 18th century. The foods represent those they would have grown, hunted, and gathered, allowing Interpreters to share background about hunting, fishing, agriculture, and how thanks was expressed in Monacan culture. According to Dean Ferguson, Monacan Village Manager, "Monacans did not celebrate Thanksgiving; the cooking demonstration is a representation of a traditional Fall feast that they would have had while food was plentiful with the harvest and before the winter began."
During the feast preparation, Interpreters will be making tools and baskets, and talking with visitors. Also, throughout November, cattail mats are being woven to cover the new ati, a traditional village house that the staff is building.
The Monacan Village at The Natural Bridge is included with The Natural Bridge admission. Village hours are daily from 10am - 4pm through November 25. Discounted admission tickets and Thanksgiving event information are available at www.NaturalBridgeVA.com. The Natural Bridge, a National Historic Landmark, is at US 11 & 130, just off I-81, exits 175 and 180; and off the Blue Ridge Parkway, MP 61.6.
Note to Editor: for reporters and photographers, the best feast preparation photo and video opportunities are from 11am-2pm; if an on-site contact is needed, call Brandy Scofield, above; Natural Bridge Fact Sheets, www.naturalbridgeva.com/press.php.