Dan Cashman has attended the folk festival in Bangor since the event’s inception, but its his participation and support of the festival all year long that led him to be selected as the 2014 Chairman’s Choice Award recipient.
In addition to being a member of the American Folk Festival Board, he also serves as chairman of the communications committee.
“He works very hard with the Communications team to keep the mission of the American Folk Festival in the minds of our public,” according to board chairman Rick Fournier who selected Cashman for the recognition. “Coordinating with local television, radio and print as well as media outlets throughout Maine and New England Dan and the communications team work very hard to make sure that the Festival stakeholders stay informed about what’s new each year.”
Cashman noted that being selected by Fournier made the honor that much more special.
“I’ve been going to the folk festival every year since it started and to have the person heading up the board effort recognize what you’re doing, it was humbling,” Cashman said.
He noted that his favorite part of the festival each year is the “festivity” of it.
“Just the atmosphere. I love the music…and I love the stuff that draws many many people, as well as the stuff that might be a little more obscure, like the throat singing and hoop dancing,” he said. “Every year I find that I’ll find something I hadn’t experienced before, and I like that, too.”
The diversity of the festival is what keeps Cashman going year after year, and he says he’s always surprised when he sees an unexpected face in the crowd. The conversations he has with people almost always follow the same theme: They’ve never been to the festival before, but the intend to come again next year.
“Year after year after year, I’ve always said, ‘Just get people here and they’ll come back,” Cashman said. “And they do. And when they come back, they bring their friends. It continues to make Bangor a popular destination in the northeast.”