Annual Folk Fest offers variety of entertainment, workshops

Connor Griffith

Kent State held its annual folk fest this past weekend, hosting concerts and folk workshops throughout campus and downtown.

Starting off Thursday night with Delhi 2 Dublin, a folk rock band, and continuing into Friday and Saturday, the 46th annual Folk Fest offered many activities throughout the weekend.

Saturday was the busiest day of the Folk Fest. Packed with workshops starting at noon, downtown Kent was transformed into “Folk Alley Round Town.” Clogging lessons, banjo workshops, group harmony and a fiddle workshop were just a few of the many available workshops.

Clogging drew one of the largest audiences between all the workshops. Abby Janota, a volunteer worker for the Folk Fest said the clogging workshops were very successful this year.

“I think everyone really liked the location of the workshops,” she said. “This year had a great turnout.”

With one man on the dance floor and a couple musicians behind him, the dancers would step up and clog for the audience. The clogging dancers were dripping in sweat. Audience members watched the show while the tip jar got fuller and fuller.

“The clogging workshop was one of my favorites,” said Courtney Weaver, sophomore early childhood education major. “I didn’t even really know what the Folk Fest was, but when I came downtown to get food, it actually turned into a pretty cool experience.”

Downtown restaurant Ray’s Place was the site of another workshop that helped people and their fiddle-playing abilities.

With an instructor at the front and some reserved tables for fiddle enthusiasts, the workshop drew in a great crowd. People from out of state traveled in for the workshops to try and get some free lessons on how to be a better fiddle player.

“I’ve been taking lessons for a year,” said Greg Adsit, an audience member for the workshop. “This is my first time here, and I drove a couple hours to get here but I think the whole festival is great.”

Duet singing was held behind the Downtown Gallery and Black Squirrel Gallery. With a white tent set up in the back, audience members sat down and listened to the folk duet singers.

“The singing workshops were what I was really interested in,” said Ashley Hirschfield, sophomore biology major. “Their style of music is so different from everything else. I really think it’s cool. I wish more people, especially students, knew more about this whole thing. It’s such a cool genre of music.”

To wrap up Saturday night, three headliners put on a concert at the Kent Stage. Tom Paxton, the Red Clay Ramblers and John McCutcheon performed and ended Folk Festival weekend.

“The concert was great,” said Hirschfield. “Kent is really lucky that the Folk Fest happens here. Everything about this weekend was organized and really cool.”

KentWired Video

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Video by Brittney Trojanowski.

Contact Connor Griffith at [email protected].