Newport News Fall Festival of Folklife General Information Page
41st Newport News Fall Festival of Folklife
October 4 & 5, 2014
Eustace Conway of The History Channel’s “Mountain Men” Demonstrating Pioneer Skills
Bluegrass Musicians from The Crooked Road:
Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail
The 41st Newport News Fall Festival of Folklife will be held on Saturday, October 4 & Sunday, October 5, 2014 each day from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Newport News Park in Newport News, Virginia. The festival, which attracts 70,000 visitors each year, will feature over 150 exhibitors showcasing traditional crafts, heritage trade demonstrations, entertainment, children’s activities, and food.
Eustace Conway, star of The History Channel’s “Mountain Men” will demonstrate pioneer skills including building with hand tools and cooking over open fires in the Heritage Area on both days of the festival. Conway directs the multi-faceted educational programs on the forested campus of Turtle Island Preserve, a nonprofit environmental education center and Appalachian heritage farm in the mountains of Boone, NC.
New for 2014 are two groups from The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Trail- Adam McPeak & Mountain Thunder and the Whitetop Mountain Band. The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail celebrates the traditional music that has been kept by families and communities since colonial times in Southwest Virginia. Settlers of this mountainous region since the 1700’s brought various ingredients – a cappella gospel music from German tradition that lives on in the Old Regular Baptist churches; spirituals, emotive singing and a musical gourd we now call a banjo from African tradition; and ballads and fiddles brought by the Scots-Irish and English. Mixed together, these ingredients have produced one of the richest musical traditions on earth that is still heard in homes, country stores, churches, and in weekly jam sessions. Other first-time performers include the Michas Polish Folk Dance Ensemble, Horn’s Punch & Judy Show, and the Tidal Waves Square Dance Club.
In the Juried Craft Area, highly-skilled craftspeople compete for $3,100 in cash prizes. The Heritage Area has craft/traditional tradespeople showcasing their skills with awards given for Best Demonstration and Best Display. The Marketplace Crafts Area crafters sell a wide variety of handmade crafts that are great for holiday gifts, collecting, or home decorating. The Country Store Area vendors sell country-inspired merchandise including farm products. Mahone’s Forge, a group that demonstrates traditional crafts and trades, will show skills in shoe making, soap making, dried herb crafts, doll making, pottery, and will have a “Thing a Ma Jig” area where the public can guess the use of unusual items used by past generations. New for this year in the Heritage Area are a “hands-on” site for weaving on a traditional loom and a folk-tale storytelling area.
The Arboretum Stage will feature Red Crooked Sky (Native American Dancing) at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday), the Kountry Kickers (Cloggers) at12:00 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday), ), the Tidal Waves Square Dance Club (Square Dancing) at 2:00 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday), and the Michas Polish Folk Dance Ensemble (Traditional Polish Dance) at 3:00 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday). The Daily Press Children’s Stage will feature Dan Barth’s Old-time Medicine Show (Traditional Medicine Show) at 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday), Jimbo Cary (Children’s Folk Music with Traditional Instruments) at 10:30 a.m. (Saturday and Sunday), Jerry Brown (Vaudeville) at 11:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday), Horn’s Punch & Judy Show (Traditional Puppet Show) at 12:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., and Atumpan- The Talking Drums (African Drums and Storytelling) at 1:30 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday). The Lake Stage will feature Bob Zentz (Folk Music) at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and at 10:15 a.m. on Sunday, the Whitetop Mountain Band (Southern String Music) at 11:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and 11:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. on Sunday, Adam McPeak & Mountain Thunder (Bluegrass) at 12:45 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and 12:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. on Sunday, Skye Zentz (Folk) at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and 1:15 p.m. on Sunday, and Patriot Thistle (Guitar Folk) at 4:15 p.m. on Sunday.
Seafood, barbeque, pork rinds, and other favorite festival foods will be sold in over twenty booths in the Food Area.
Children can “make and take” free crafts in the Children’s Area. Back by popular demand is the Pumpkin Patch ($) where children can purchase, decorate, weigh, name, and receive an “adoption certificate” for their pumpkin. Also returning is the children’s pedal car area where young children can ride “old-time” pedal cars.
Newport News Fall Festival of Folklife lapel pins (20th in the series), festival t-shirts, festival umbrellas, festival hats, 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). Traffic updates, weather updates, and other event updates will be posted on Twitter @nnfestivals and Facebook . For more information or special assistance, call (757) 926-1400.