On Saturday, Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery on East Main Street, the free and unique Freshwater Folk Festival will combine great music and dance performances with activities that entertain and also inform children and adults about streams, wildlife biology and protection of our freshwater environment.
Bands will play at the amphitheater, two dance organizations will perform, stilt walkers will walk, American Indians will drum and watershed associations and aquatic biologists will have exhibits and demonstrations. In addition, arts, crafts and delicious foods will be available to purchase and enjoy.
Before the festival activities begin, Generation Greenbrier Valley will present the 2nd Annual Freshwater Folk 5K race with registration at 8:30 a.m. next to the hatchery entrance for the race starting time at 9 a.m.
From 10 to 11:40 a.m., Strum Sum Band will play cheerful music from way back then and some from not so long ago. Their performance will be followed by the clogging of the Kountry Kickers from Virginia. At 12:10 p.m., the Possum Holler Glee Club will launch into a 100-minute set with a diverse collection of music to make you boogie with a smile. Appalachian American Indians of West Virginia will then perform until a folk-singing female duet with the name Little Sparrow takes the stage for the finale at 2:20 p.m. Mary Daily and Jeanne Hoffman will accompany themselves on guitar and upright bass when not singing a cappella harmonies.
The Dance Exchange from the Washington area will provide an environmental experience called The Moving Field Guide which partners artists, scientists and festival goers. This will allow participants to stimulate their senses and reflect on the environment which they can discover and influence in a positive way. Sign-up for this activity lasts until it starts at 1 p.m.
Roy Moose will fill folks in on the alive and friendly snakes in his collection. Organizations working to protect the watersheds of the rivers, creeks, runs and drafts in our area will help folks at the festival learn more about the precious flowing freshwater in our area. Since not all freshwater is above ground, it’s appropriate that Lost World Caverns will have an exhibit. Tours of the hatchery will feature trout egg production and freshwater mussel rearing projects.
The Second Story Theatre Company featuring stilt walkers, Chally Erb and Beth White will be tickling some funny bones with their high rise antics. There will be activities for children as always since they are an especially important part of the Freshwater Folk Festival. In keeping with the aquatic nature of the festival, Sharron Ginsburg will lead the children in the folding of origami jumping frogs from 1-2 p.m. Artist Jessica Levine’s contribution to the festival fun will include hands-on science and art activities.
Those with handicapped certification will enter through the main hatchery entrance and park next to the hatchery office. Everyone else must turn from East Main Street onto Hemlock Drive (the second street to the west of the hatchery) and park on the grass behind the hatchery. Participants in the Freshwater Folk 5K race should also take this second route to park.
The event is a fine addition to White Sulphur Springs Fall Fling activities. Visit the festival website for the festival poster, performer information, etc. at www.freshwaterfolkfestival.org.