’18
Izzy
Lake Worth, FL
Art
Environmental Studies

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making stuff exploring the James being messy stompin' to live music vegan food

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Folkin' Around

November 3, 2014

As promised, here is part 2 of the exploration of Richmond festivals! Grab your banjo and get on the Spider Bus to head down to the Richmond Folk Festival- and get ready for some cultural sights, smells, and sounds you’ll never forget.

 folk fest poster

And if that introduction isn’t convincing enough, this sweet poster ought to get you on board.

So needless to say, the poster was the motivation to get me on the shuttle on Saturday. My fellow folk-enthusiast, Ethan from Roanoake, and I ventured into the wind-whipping cold that hung over Brown’s Island. However, that wouldn’t stop us, or thousands of other folk-fans and volunteers who make this festival possible. And possibly the cherry on top of the Richmond folk festival- admission is free.

“How is this possible!?” you exclaim as you slam your fist down, spilling your beverage all over yourself. Hold your disbelief, and let me tell you what; the sheer amount of hype people have for the folk festival, as they drop donations into circulating orange buckets, keeps this Richmond tradition on high ground.

Very high ground.

 pole flying

These dudes at the Folk Festival performed Danza de los Voladores (Dance of the Flyers), an ancient Mesoamerican ceremony/ritual that involves swinging from a concrete pole in the midst of the festival.

I think in total, Ethan and I spent 6+ hours at the Folk Festival on Saturday. We hit up every stage, which included Québécios band Lu Vent de Nord, Egyptian Celebration, Tibetan opera, a Balkan brass band, and of course zydeco music from the Dwayne Dopsie & The Zydeco Hellraisers. 

Wondering what zydeco is? Wikipedia cannot describe the JAMbalaya creole flair that is zydeco music. Feast your ears.

 

(Zydeco was evolved in Louisiana, and blends blues, rhythym and blues, and indigenous creole sounds. Thanks Wikipedia.)

But I digress. Like a delicious platter of multi-ethnic cuisine, the sounds were spicy, sweet, textured, and possessed everyone within a 100 foot radius want to jump out of their seats and dance.

dancing 

I’ve never witnessed such a dancing epidemic that was brought about by the folk festival. Ethan felt obligated to shake one guy’s hand for impressing us with his unchallenged groove. He was easily over 65.

We came, we saw (only after I sat on Ethan’s shoulders to see above the immense crowd), we ate (from local food trucks), and by the end of it all, we were pooped.

While many of my friends (like Shiv, see his post about Floyd) were partying elsewhere, I stayed put in Richmond to folk out over fall break. And let me tell you, it was worth it.

 egytptian

One of the things that made it especially worth it was this guy’s whirling outfit from Egyptian Celebration. And guess what? It has built-in lights.

 

Until the next adventure, my folksy followers!

Howdy!

My name is Isabella, casually known as Izzy. I'm a kid from the swamp (South Florida) who came to Richmond to explore- my surroundings, my academic and artistic interests, and my personal self. When I stumbled upon UR, I was a high-school senior at Dreyfoos School of the Arts who was swimming (or perhaps drowning) in a sea of college applications and presentation, unaware of where I would be in less than a year. It's exciting to be a newly born spider, one who is released upon this beautiful campus, with no other goal than to get as much out of my educational experiences as possible. As a Spider diarest, I will try to recount my adventures in their fullness as I foray across The Commons, The James River, and the downtown art scene with only a bike and a backpack. Hold on to your handlebars folks, I'm intent on chasing the opportunities and the oddities just beyond the pointed arches....