Freshwater Folk Festival to make a splash in White Sulphur Springs

On Saturday, Oct. 4, folks of all ages will be heading for the Tenth Annual Freshwater Folk Festival on the grounds of the National Fish Hatchery in White Sulphur Springs. The fun begins at 10 a.m. and lasts until 4 p.m. There will be free musical entertainment by Sassafrazz, Quit and Krista Hughes and Switch, featuring several kinds of music. Second Story Theatre Company will delight the crowd with stilt-walking, stilt-dancing and clowning around.

The mainstay of the festival is the plethora of free, hands-on activities, demonstrations and displays relating to appreciation and preservation of freshwater habitats and nature in general. Tours of the hatchery’s trout and freshwater mussel operations will be conducted. Homemade food and crafts will be available for sale.

At 10 a.m., the acoustic string and vocal trio, Sassafrazz, will lead things off at the amphitheater. They’ve promised to serenade us with an eclectic mix of instrumentals and songs from the Appalachian and Celtic traditions, vintage jazz, early country and contemporary folk music. Mary Dailey contributes solid vocals, rhythm guitar and upright bass. Rachel Johnson skillfully plays fiddle. Bob Adams creates magic on mandolin, cittern and guitar.

At noon, it will be time for something completely different in the form of a five-member Charleston-area band named Qiet (really spelled that way). Their performances are infused with influences of many cultures of the world, refined in the mountains of West Virginia. Qiet radiates undeniable energy, passionate lyrics and infectious humor via 1920’s jazz, gipsy music, some rock, etcetera, etcetera. It’s an experience that keeps audiences jiving and swinging long after their concert are over.

At 2 p.m. an exciting country music band from Beckley will be on the stage. The lead vocalist is Krista Hughes. The drummer, guitarist and bassist trio playing with her is called Switch, a popular group of performers in their own right. This ensemble got an enthusiastic response from the crowd at the West Virginia State Fair this year.

Off and on throughout the event, Chally Erb and Beth White of the Second Story Theatre Company will be living the high life on stilts with Chally displaying his huge stuffed fish. Sharon Ginsburg and Jessica Levine will once again keep the kids busy with nature-related art projects. The Greenbrier Sporting Club will offer fly fishing instruction.

The Friends of the White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery planned the event to promote understanding, appreciation and conservation of freshwater resources. More information is available at www.freshwaterfolkfestival.org or call 304-606-0602.

The event is sponsored by the WV Division of Culture and History, the Greenbrier County Commission, the Greenbrier County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and many generous individual donors.

A typical Freshwater Folk Festival scene
A typical Freshwater Folk Festival scene

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