Posted by: Andrea Alexander | April 20, 2013

The 39th Annual Folk Festival Celebrates Garifuna Traditions

Thanks to guest blogger Lisabeth Matyash, Media Coordinator for the New Jersey Folk Festival, for this post:

folk festPlease join us for the 39th Annual New Jersey Folk Festival as we celebrate Americana folklore traditions with a special spotlight on the Garifuna people of Central America. Bring the entire family and spend the day as there is surely something to please everyone.

The festival features an array of activities on the Eagleton lawn of Douglass Campus, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m on April 27. The festival is comprised of three stages of live music, dancing, and lectures as well as a free children’s area with crafts, games, and pony rides. Take a walk down our juried craft market with a wide selection of artisan goods and sample food from across the globe from any of our 25 food vendors.

As always, the festival seeks to provide its visitors with a unique, educational, and fun immersion into the culture of the featured ethnic group through traditional music, workshops, storytelling, and lectures. This year’s festival will showcase the historic folk culture of the Garifuna people – descendants of Carib, Arawak, and West African people who were originally from the island of St. Vincent in the Lesser Antilles. Camillo Gonsalves, representative to the United Nations for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is expected to attend and speak on the Douglass Campus.

In addition to Garifuna performers, the festival will also feature local favorites, such as established folk singer, Spook Handy, and the “Best Of” our past Singer-Songwriter Showcase winners. There will be jam sessions for Irish, Bluegrass, a performance by the Rutgers Queens Guard, and Old-Timey music so feel free to bring your instruments. Our heritage area will have interactive exhibits allowing festival goers to learn about anything from beekeeping to drum making to sheep shearing through demonstrations and audience participation.

The festival is red-wagon and pet-friendly. You may also feel free to bring your lawn chairs or blankets.

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