Sunday, September 20, 2015

Folk Festival Fun(Another Way to Enjoy History)

By Nina Kendall

Folk festivals are celebrations of traditional cultures and practices from around the world. These events are opportunities for people to revel in the art and history that is folk culture.  As a family, we have visited folk festivals for years.  We recently attend the National Folk Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina. This 75 year old festival will be hosted by the city of Greensboro from 2015 to 2017.  The festival was full of interesting performances and exhibits. Here are a few things we enjoyed:

Live Music
The festival in Greensboro had a full schedule of diverse performers. We enjoyed music and performances from traditions around the globe. The Dardanelles performed traditional music from Newfoundland at the Belk Stage. The Dardanelles gave an engaging performance that had people dancing.  On the Church Street stag e Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka and the San Francisco Taiko Dojo entertained with a taiko drumming performance of both traditional and original compositions.  Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka is the foremost expert in taiko drumming in the Unites States. The taiko group’s rhythms and movement reminded the crowd of the art and energy of live performers.  Later on the Wrangler Stage, Babá Ken Okulolo & the West African Highlife Band shared the unique blend of traditional rhythms and with western sounds. The crowd responded to the smooth mellow sounds of the band.

Demonstration and Exhibits
Visitors to the festival also had the opportunity to enjoy live demonstrations. At the Greensboro Historical society the way of life of the  Montagnard  was shared via live music, and other demonstrations. The exhibits in the museum were open to the public as well. You could also make time for Chinese rod puppetry or performances by the Warriors of AniKituhwa of Cherokee ceremonial dance. There were also public art, a Pullman train car, and pop-up history exhibits

It was a great weekend of art and culture enjoyed outside in downtown Greensboro.  We will look forward to future events. Attending a folk festival is great way to enjoy history. If you are interested in attending a festival yourself, make plans to go to Greensboro next fall or to attend one of these events.