It’s a unique opportunity when you can bring a variety of music, food, and vendors from around the world to the Bangor waterfront for the public to enjoy, free of cost. Since 2002, our community has enjoyed a sampling of the best food and talent from all corners of our globe each summer. Over the years, we’ve had Tibetan monks; the Chinese Opera; and some of the best creole, bluegrass, and blues musicians in the United States to name just a few. However, with set up and maintenance costs, travel and accommodations, not to mention payment for the performers, it can take up to a million dollars a year to make it all happen.
No doubt our corporate sponsors play a large role in keeping the festival successful, but it would not be where it is today without our fearless “Bucket Brigade.” Therefore, I wanted to take a moment to honor the dedicated folks that tirelessly collect donations, sometimes during day-long shifts in the hot summer sun. If you have ever attended an American Folk Festival, you have surely seen them—dancing through the crowd, most likely with smiles on their faces, carrying their brightly colored “Kick In” buckets. If you have ever donated, then you have probably received an “I Kicked In!” sticker from them.
Bucket Brigade volunteers have come back year after year, not only because they have so much fun doing it, but because they know what an integral role that have to pulling off a successful folk festival. The buckets represent a significant portion of the Festival’s operating budget each year. This is money that goes toward bringing the world to Bangor year after year, enriching our lives with music, culture, and flavors from around our globe. This year, the Bucket Brigade will be carrying an added incentive—colorful beads for those that give the suggested donation of $10 per day. For three days of music, food, crafts, and fun, this is a small price to pay, especially when you consider the average cost of a movie ticket these days is $8 per person (not including popcorn and the other traditional movie goodies).
So, to all the Bucket Brigade volunteers—we salute you! Your contributions to the American Folk Festival are second to none. To those of you who have donated to the buckets, no matter what amount—thank you for your generosity. And, when you see a Bucket Brigade volunteer coming your way, be sure to thank them as well! Each contribution to the festival helps to ensure that the American Folk Festival will continue to be a highly anticipated and enjoyed event for years to come.
Are you interested in joining the Bucket Brigade or volunteer in other ways? Fill out our volunteer application online!