Audience members watch as a group of musicians play the violin and sing. Dark clouds loom overhead. Image courtesy of Colin McEvers.
Despite an intimidating tropical storm in the midst, Maryland’s annual Folk Festival was hosted in downtown Salisbury over the weekend of September 22nd – 24th. Musicians, dancers, vendors and members of the community who joined in the festivities without regard to the gloomy weather contributed to the event’s overall success.
Friday, September 22nd, was the first day of this year’s Folk Festival. The sky was gray and the sound of roaring thunder could be heard, clear signs of the approaching storm.
Louder than the thunder, the tunes of violinists, guitarists and singers resounded from the Perdue and Main Street stages. Hundreds of audience members could be seen cloaked in ponchos and holding umbrellas to protect them from a rain shower that seemed imminent.
A group of people dance in a circle as a band plays tunes. Image courtesy of Colin McEvers.
Grace Murdock, a local leader and former educator, has been an integral part of the Folk Festival tradition in Salisbury since it began five years ago.
“It’s a great time for our city, our community and all the visitors. It’s just wonderful that it’s [happening] this weekend," Murdock said. "We’re just going to laugh at the weather, I guess."
The extent to which the seats facing the two stages were filled on that cloudy evening demonstrated the resilience of the Salisbury community. They were willing to be caught in a torrential downpour for the chance to have fun with family, friends and/or strangers.
“I love the different acts that come in, I love seeing the community full and the people having fun," Murdock said. "I was very encouraged by how many seats were full for the first act on the Perdue stage."
"The generosity of our community just shines during the festival."
The festival served as an opportunity for local vendors to sell their products. Dozens of stands were set up beneath canopies, offering a range of goods from farm-fresh honey to handmade wood crafts sourced from Eastern Shore trees.
Dozens of vendors made a presence at this years Folk Festival, selling an array of products. Image courtesy of Maddie Rathmann.
Kevin Dzimiera, owner of Shore Woodcraft, had a stand at the Folk Festival where intricately crafted wood bowls, plates, cutting boards and more were on display.
“They’re [wood crafts] all handmade from wood from the Eastern shore," Dzimiera said. "Being from Salisbury, I get a lot of my wood out of Salisbury or Cambridge."
"Just anything on the Eastern shore where I can find good wood and deal [with] it,"
Although he is self-taught and has only been wood-crafting for seven years, his merchandise is masterful. Shore Woodcraft is one of many local business that are given the chance to sell their product and promtoe their brand at the Maryland Folk Festival.
By COLIN MCEVERS
Featured image courtesy of Colin McEvers.