As the American Folk Festival gets ready to launch into year number 14, many things have changed since 2002!
Today, we have beautiful grass and landscape along our waterfront, concerts, charity events and vendors for folks to enjoy during their lunch hour. When the Folk Festival started in Bangor, there were piles of dirt with great hopes of an active, vibrant area where families would like to go, people would like to eat their lunch. It was only a hope.
Then The National Folk Festival came to Town
The Event: The National Folk Festival, the organization that helped to create and produce the first three years with us in Bangor- the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA, founded in 1934.) We got support staff and direction on all levels. That meant stages and stage crews, planning, recruiting volunteers, operations people and so many more “people from away,” taught us how to put on a big time Festival.
And from these years of work and fun, the American Folk Festival has created its’ own Community. Some of the “National” relationships have carried over and some folks return to be with us every August as part of our family. But mostly, people are local volunteers that help in the planning, stuffing envelopes, shuttling artists, making phone calls and of course with the massive set up and take down of the venue itself.
Building a Community
I am so grateful to have been part of this festival and to be part of the community that it lives in. The relationships that have been built, people I have met from my own town, create a sense of pride in my community that I can say, “Yeah, l live here and you should too!”
Watching the TV News can be sad at times, looking at Facebook and seeing all the suffering in your friends lives is tough. But the Bangor region and the American Folk Festival is doing its part by presenting opportunities for us to participate in “Good.” In “Joy.”
Our work together creates such a huge impact to this region. Economic impact, sure. 9 million bucks is an estimated figure. Here is an article from 2011 Portland Press Herald that really sings to what the Festival is all about.
When we are working together and are part of something so big, the common thread of working to give to our community is a feeling that cannot be ignored.
You Feel it.
Come Join Us!