Newport News Fall Festival of Folklife General Information Page
40th Newport News Fall Festival of Folklife
October 5 & 6, 2013
Special Anniversary Activities to Celebrate the Longest-running Festival on the Virginia Peninsula
The 40th Newport News Fall Festival of Folklife will be held on Saturday, October 5 & Sunday, October 6, 2013 each day from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Newport News Park in Newport News, Virginia. The festival is celebrating its 40th Anniversary by bringing back favorite entertainers and honoring the people who have made the festival a family tradition during the first full weekend each October. The Newport News Fall Festival of Folklife is the longest-running festival on the Virginia Peninsula and is one of the the longest-running family festival in the Hampton Roads Region. A special 40th Anniversary Presentation will be held on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 12:30 p.m. on the Arboretum Stage. New for 2013 is professional pumpkin carving demonstrations by Sean Fitzpatrick, who has been featured on “Good Morning American and “The Today Show,” and an exhibit about Newport News Folk Artist Anderson Johnson. The festival, which attracts 70,000 visitors each year, will feature over 200 exhibitors showcasing traditional crafts, heritage trade demonstrations, entertainment, children’s activities, and food.
The original name of the festival was the Festival of Folklife for the Bicentennial and it was created to run only three years (1974, 1975, and 1976) as part of the City of Newport News’ celebration of the Nation’s Bicentennial. The festival was created by Lucy Arnold, an employee of Newport News Parks, & Recreation. The 1974 festival ran three days (October 4, 5 & 6, 1974) with the first day including evening performances at Christopher Newport College’s Student Campus Center. The goal of the festival was to showcase folk life traditions that were in danger of disappearing including folk dance, traditional music, and historic trades/crafts.
The festival was so well received that it became an annual event called the Festival of Folklife (through 1978) and then was called the Fall Festival until 1999 when the name changed to the Newport News Fall Festival of Folklife to emphasize its focus on showcasing folklife traditions.
The festival has grown from fifty heritage crafters/demonstrators to a total of over two-hundred crafters/heritage demonstrators in four areas: Juried Crafts where highly-skilled craftspeople compete for $3,100 in cash prizes), the Heritage Area where craft/traditional tradespeople showcase their skills and awards are given for Best Demonstration and Best Display, the Marketplace Crafts Area where crafters sell a wide variety of handmade crafts that are great for holiday gifts, collecting, or home decorating; and the Country Store Area where vendors sell country-inspired merchandise including farm products. Long-time participants include John Hailey (Apple Butter and Stone Ground Cornmeal, since late 1970’s), Jim Rigby (Pottery, since early 1990’s), Katie Jones (Ukraninian Eggs, since late 1970’s), Hugh Kalns (Scroll Woodworking, since mid-1970’s), Peninsula Piecemakers Guild (Quilting, since late 1980’s), Kathy Wooldridge (Stained Glass, since early 1980’s) and the Working Watermen (Boating Trades, since late 1980’s).
Since its first year, entertainment has been a major part of the Newport News Fall Festival of Folklife. Internationally-known folk musicians have performed on the festival’s stages including Mike Seeger (1984), The Kingston Trio (1993), The Brothers Four (1989), Tom Paxton (1987), and Tom Chapin (1989, 1997). In celebration of the 40th Anniversary, this year’s festival will feature favorite entertainers from past festivals, including many that have not recently appeared at the festival. The Arboretum Stage will feature Red Crooked Sky (Native American Dancing) at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday) and the Kountry Kickers (Cloggers) at 2:30 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday). The Daily Press Children’s Stage will feature Kim and Jimbo Cary (Children’s Folk Music) at 11:00 a.m. (Saturday and Sunday), Jerry Brown (Vaudeville, Festival Performer since 1987) at 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday), Skye Zentz (Children’s Folk Music) at 1:00 p.m., and Atumpan- The Talking Drums (African Drums and Storytelling) at 2:00 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday). The Lake Stage will feature Music, Festival Performer in 1991) at 11:30 a.m. (Saturday and Sunday), the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show, Inc. (Festival Performers in 1996, 2000) at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday), and Hard Knox (Bluegrass) at 1:30 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday).
Additional performances will include the Dan Barth’s Old-time Medicine Show (Festival Performer in mid 1980’s) at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday), Gum Tree Farm will have a sheep shearing demonstration at 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday), and Ferguson’s Working Mule Demonstration will show mule jumping at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday).
Seafood, barbeque, pork rinds, and other favorite festival foods will be sold in over twenty booths in the Food Area. Long-time food vendors include Pennsylvania Dutch Funnel Cakes of Virginia (vendor since early 1980’s), Beach Bully (since the 1980’s), and The Crispy Pig (vendor since the early 1980’s), and Mathews Lion Club (since the 1990’s). Food vendors will compete for the “Best Food Vendor” award.
Children can “make and take” free crafts in the Children’s Area. This year’s crafts will be the same ones enjoyed by children in the early years of the festival including leather crafts, wood working, and face painting.
Newport News Fall Festival of Folklife lapel pins (19th in the series), festival t-shirts, and festival tote bags will be sold at the Newport News Parks, Recreation & Tourism Booth.
Admission is free; parking fee $10.00 per vehicle on-site and at satellite areas (Greenwood Elementary School/Woodside High School). Free shuttle bus service will run continuously between the satellite parking areas and the festival. No pets permitted in the festival area. Newport News Park is located at the intersection of Ft. Eustis Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue (Exit 250B from I-64). Due to construction on Ft. Eustis Boulevard, allow for extra travel time. Traffic updates, weather updates, and other event updates will be posted on Twitter @nnfestivals. For more information or special assistance, call (757) 926-1400..
40th Newport News Fall Festival of Folklife Exhibit Areas:
Juried Crafts Area:
42 High-quality craftspeople competing for $3,100 in awards (Best in Show $700.00, Best in Category $300.00). Categories- Wood, Glass, Fiber, Clay, Jewelry, Folk Art, Metal, and Other Crafts.
Marketplace Crafts Area:
87 Craftspeople selling a wide variety of crafts.
32 Exhibitors demonstrating traditional crafts and trades: Civil War history, apple butter, knitting, quilting, pottery, nautical ropes, decoys, wood turning, local history authors, basket weaving, Amish baked goods, carousel horse carving, fur-trapping display, boat building, gourd crafts, Appalachian Trail encampment, 1920’s living history, livestock, sheep shearing, mule cart rides, alpacas, blacksmithing, working watermen, antique farm equipment, scale ships and boats, historical musical instruments and performances, and antique automobiles. Awards are given for Best Demonstration ($200.00) and Best Display ($200.00).
26 vendors selling country inspired merchandise: kettle corn, bread, jams, specialty foods and sauces, engraved tags, handmade soap, dairy products, fishing lures, baked goods, herb mixes, clothing, and spiced nuts.
Activities include: free make-and-take crafts and games by Newport News Youth Programs including Bottle Cap Pendants, Woodworking on Toy Blocks, Leather Stamping/Decorating, and Face Painting.
Vendors selling a variety of food items: funnel cakes, seafood, sausage, pork rinds, roasted corn on the cob, turkey legs, barbecue, etc.
Festival t-shirts, Festival tote bags, Festival lapel pins (19th in the series), Newport News Parks, Recreation & Tourism; Newport News Libraries, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Newport News Master Gardeners, Peninsula Master Naturalists, Junior Woman’s Club of Newport News, Newport News Instructional Classes, Newport News Active Lifestyles Program, Newport News Visitor Center, Newport News Aquatics, Newport News Green Foundation, Sister Cities of Newport News, and the Newport News Green Corps.
40th Newport News Fall Festival of Folklife Entertainment Schedule
12:30 p.m. 40th Anniversary Presentation
(Saturday & Sunday)
1:30 p.m. Red Crooked Sky (Native American Dance) http://www.redcrookedsky.com
2:30 p.m. Kountry Kickers (Clogging) http://www.kountrykickers.com
3:30 p.m. Red Crooked Sky (Native American Dance) http://www.redcrookedsky.com
Daily Press Children’s Stage:
(Saturday & Sunday)
11:00 a.m. Kim and Jimbo Cary (Children’s Folk) www.kimandjimbocary.com
12:00 p.m. Jerry Brown (Vaudeville) www.themonkeyman.com
1:00 p.m. Skye Zentz (Children’s Folk) www.skyezentz.bandcamp.com
2:00 p.m. Antumpan- The Talking Drums (Drumming/Storytelling)
3:00 p.m. Jerry Brown (Vaudeville) www.themonkeyman.com
(Saturday & Sunday)
10: 30 a.m. Bob Zentz (Folk) www.bobzentz.com
11:30 a.m. The Gurley’s (Folk) www.billandpamgurley.com
12:30 p.m. Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show, Inc. www.lumberjackent.com
1:30 p.m. Hard Knox (Bluegrass) www.hardknoxbluegrassband.com
2:30 p.m. Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show, Inc. www.lumberjackent.com
Additional Performances (not on Entertainment Stages):
Dan Barth Medicine Man Show (Heritage Area) www.danbarth.com
Gum Tree Farm Sheep Shearing Demonstrations (Heritage Area) www.gumtreefarm.com
Ferguson’s Working Mule Demonstrations (Heritage Area)
Jerry Brown Scarecrow (Strolling) www.themonkeyman.com
Music Around the World-hands on musical exhibit (Children’s Area) www.kimandjimbocary.com
40th Newport News Fall Festival of Folklife-
The following information concerns parking facilities, shuttle services, etc. for the 40th Newport News Fall Festival of Folklife on October 5 & 6, 2013:
• Plan for additional travel time to the event due to construction on Ft. Eustis Blvd.
•“No Parking” zones will be strictly enforced on Jefferson Avenue and Ft. Eustis Blvd. during
the Festival on October 5 & 6, 2013.
• There is a $10.00 per vehicle parking fee in both the park and the satellite parking lots. Shuttle buses from the satellite parking lots to the festival area are free. Handicapped parking is available in the park and at the satellite parking lots (the free shuttle buses from satellite parking to the festival are handicapped accessible.
• Satellite parking is available at:
Woodside High School (13450 Woodside Lane)
Greenwood Elementary School (13460 Woodside Lane & Ft. Eustis Blvd.)
• NO PETS ALLOWED IN THE FESTIVAL AREA.
•For everyone’s comfort and protection, pets, bicycles, skateboards, and radios are NOT allowed in the Festival area.
DIRECTIONS TO NEWPORT NEWS PARK:
- Take Exit 250B; at the traffic light, make a left onto Jefferson Ave.
- Newport News Park is on the right
•-Take Exit 250B; at the traffic light, make a left onto Jefferson Ave.
- Newport News Park is approximately 1/4 mile up Jefferson Ave. on the right
For more information, call (757) 926-1400. For festival updates (including weather), follow us on Twitter @nnfestivals