BY REBECCA GALLERY • PHOTOS BY ERIC BOND, BILL BROWN
The 37th Takoma Folk Fest was held Sunday September 7th on the grounds of the Takoma Park Middle School. This lively music and dance event attracted 2500 – 3000 attendees from the metropolitan and surrounding areas.
Upon arriving, visitors were greeted by volunteers working to keep the festival clean, green and easy to navigate. Free programs, stickers and answers to various questions were available at the information booth, centered right outside the main school gates.
One of the volunteers was Takoma Park mayor Bruce Williams, on left. Photo by Bill Brown.
Seven stages were placed all around the school grounds. Six stages offered lively and energetic folk, bluegrass, americana and music from many nations.. At the indoor dance stage, the audience experienced unique performances and sometimes participated in the dancing. The festival ran all day from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The Takoma Folk Fest truly had something for everyone. Delighted children filled the hillside at the Grassy Nook area, playing with various musical instruments, trying out tap dancing with real tap shoes and having their faces painted with intricate designs. Vegans, vegetarians, carnivores and everything in between were able to savor a foodies’ paradise with over fifteen food vendors offering wide menu selections from around the world. The vendor area had the crowds lining up to admire the handmade soaps, jewelry, clothing and arts that the craft show and sale was offering. In addition to the artisan booths, many local politicians represented their communities with booths offering information and education on various causes.
The Grove Stage. Photo by Bill Brown.
Festival Director Colleen Clay said “Every year the festival does something different, sometimes it is a special theme, sometimes it is a change to the way we produce the festival. This year, we focused on marketing the musical acts through print articles and social media. It appears to have been very successful and strengthened our on-line presence. This is in keeping with the work we have done over the past four festivals to improve our web and print media presence. It is an important part of the festival, as our musicians are also volunteering, to provide broader exposure for their acts. It helps to build our community of musicians and build audience for the festival.”
The volunteers at Takoma Folk Fest are the driving force bringing this show together. “Every year a group of intrepid volunteers come together over the course of a year to put together a one day community festival, and the day of the festival, about 200 volunteers and as many as 300 musicians, along with artisan crafters, community organizations and food vendors make the event a success. We are always looking for people to join the fun,” said Clay.
The Honest Mistakes perform at the Field Stage. Photo by Bill Brown.
The City of Takoma Park is the largest supporter of the annual Takoma Folk Festival; underwriting the costs for the site, tents, transportation and various rentals. The immense support the community showed through the generous stream of donations; raising over $3000.
The fundraising efforts supported local not for profit organizations Montgomery Blair Robotics Club, Friends of Sligo Creek, local Girl and Boy Scout troops, Montgomery Blair leadership development program, and Takoma Park Middle School. A full listing of all the donors can be found at www.tpff.org.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information on volunteering for next year’s Takoma Park Folk Fest.