Thought I'd share some ideas my family is already working on for our Cousins' Reunion May 2013.
We are going country.We will also focus on "the other side of our family."Most folks call this the Roach Cousins' Reunion for our grandfather, but his spouse and our Grandmother was a Creel.The Creels lived in the "sandy land" of Texas and grew watermelon, peanuts, cantaloupe and sweet potatoes for market.They also raised a kitchen garden with all of the usual veggies.
Our centerpieces will be burlap bags (gunny sacks/tow sacks) with kitchen veggies on them - corn in husks, squash, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, okra, etc.Also, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and small baskets of peanuts.Every table will be a bit different.
Many of us cousins remember Grandma's younger brother bring his little pickup full of bags of sweet potatoes and peanuts, and lots of watermelon, some of which he iced down in #3 washtubs.We all stood around the yard eating watermelon and then had a seed spitting contest.We intend to replicate the watermelon part and the seed spitting contest.
There will be little waste, because we can take the veggies home and use them ourselves.Burlap bags can be purchased on line for less than $3 each.
I am in custody of a baby dress that Grandma made for my dad before he was born in June 1913, and that 100 year-old dress will be on display.Also, I have a pair of cotton carders that belonged to G-Grandma Creel, and have made arrangements with a man I know who raises cotton each year to obtain bowls so the younger kids can see how they worked. Another reason to get started so early - I have to get the cotton bowls in August, only a month away.
Also on display will be a large Creel Pedigree Chart and numerous old Creel photos that I have collected over the past 59 years.
Whether your ancestors raised these same crops or not, you might be able to use something of the idea. Draw on your own memories and have a great time visiting with each other and honoring your ancestors.