Posted by: sunnyharvy | August 5, 2012

A weekend of folk music

It took us a while to get our bearings in this “big city” after so much simpler country living, but we eventually found our way around to the places and things we needed. We haven’t fallen in love with St. John’s during our stay, but the 36th Annual Newfoundland and Folk Festival surpassed all expectations.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Arts Society (NLFAS) is a charitable organization whose mandate is the promotion and preservation of the traditional folk arts of the province. They produce a weekly folk night here in St. John’s and many youth and holiday programs, in addition to this annual 3-day extravaganza. It may not draw the crowds or the international talent that Newport does, but it delivers plenty of fabulous music and a great time. We spent two whole days and three evenings enjoying entertainment on the main stage, workshops in the tents, and dancing on the grass. An extra unexpected bonus was learning about Newfoundland history and culture from the words of the local songwriters. That will definitely enhance the rest of our tour here, I’m sure.

We had hoped to bike to the event venue each day, but the city streets are not conducive (hills and traffic), so we decided to drive haRVy in each day. The park had no parking available, so we were concerned about this, but did not see another alternative. We managed to get there early each day to find the same shady parking spot right across from the main entrance waiting for us. We came back to haRVy for most meals, jackets, and other comforts as our needs dictated which proved extremely convenient. I doubt we would have stayed there from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday otherwise.

Most all of the musicians delivered high-quality entertainment with a broad variety of offerings from Newfoundland and other Canadian provinces, Ireland, Scotland, England and France, as well as Louisiana, Jamaica and Greece! I probably even missed a few, but that’s what I recall. Nearly all were from Canada, most from Newfoundland and one from Ireland. Americans were few and far between, if there were any. Our favorite performers, for those of you curious to learn (hear) more online were Qristina and Quinn Bachand, Amelia Curran, Jim Payne, Andrew James O’Brien, and Vishten.

Not bad for an urban campsite, right?

Friday: cloudy and warm with light rain. 9 miles
Saturday: sunny & hot with a life-saving light breeze. 3 miles
Sunday: sunny & cool. 3 miles

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