Guest Author - Phyllis Doyle Burns
Do you like folk art, crafts, old timey music, dancing, good food and cheerful folks? You will find these wonderful things all throughout the Appalachian regions this summer and fall at so many folk festivals.
Early in the year is the best time to make plans for all the folk festivals you want to attend. Check out the list of festivals I found for you then start making your plans. Schedule your vacation time now. Call ahead to the festival location to check on lodgings and availability. Begin making a list of all you may need if this will be a long trip.
If you live in the area, you may consider volunteering to help out at the festival -- or, you may be considering renting a booth and selling your Appalachian crafts and folk art. So, make sure you have all your crafts ready to go.
One of the greatest benefits and joys of attending a folk festival is to experience pure serendipity -- that means the act of finding something valuable or delightful when you are not looking for. To find that one piece that just strikes you as belonging in your home and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy is as fun and exciting as opening a present on your birthday when you were a child. When you see it and just know it was meant for you, that is pure serendipity.
Folk art is reminiscent of early settler days when people used what they had for home decor or gifts. Flour sacks were turned into embroidered dish towels or rag stuffed pillows. Corn husk dolls were made for toys or decoration. Quaint pictures were painted on old pieces of board. Game boards were made from old unused boards with painted diagrams for checkers or a painted star and dents for Chinese checkers. Old wooden boxes were painted with pretty designs and used for books or nic-nacs. Nothing was wasted, everything was put to use somehow.
Want to find that perfect homespun craft item or a primitive doll for a special place in your home or something to cheer up a neglected corner? You just may find it at a folk festival.
Here are a few annual festivals you might want to check out:
West Virginia State Folk Festival
Glenville, West Virginia
3rd Thursday in June
Coney Island, Cincinnati, Ohio
Mother's Day Weekend
Franklin Folk Festival
Franklin, North Carolina
3rd Saturday in July
Smoky Mountain Folk Festival
Lake Junaluska, North Carolina
Labor Day Weekend
Folk festivals are a way of preserving the traditions and culture of a particular town or county. Please support your local folk festival by attending and enjoying your own culture and traditions.
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