If one were to walk around the Frostburg State University's upper quad throughout the week, they would notice the large amount preparation that went on to set up for the 2013 Appalachian Festival. As the tents and tables went up, everyone prepared for this marvelous festival that takes place annually here at FSU. This morning, all that hard work finally came to life in what most would consider to be another successful year.
This was the first year that I actually attended the Appalachian Festival since I've been at Frostburg. After my experience, I wondered why it had taken me three years to finally go. It was absolutely amazing. As I entered the upper quad the music was the first thing I noticed. It had a nice traditional folk sound that was perfect for the setting the mood of the festival. As I walked around I had to try my luck at one of the multiple food stands, the smell was just too tempting not to. I stopped at Jearbryo’s Hookers and Seafood Grill where they sold a variety of different things. While their main area of focus was on seafood, they also sold items such as pulled pork sandwich's and Italian sausages which me and my taste buds agreed were absolutely delicious. If someone wanted memorabilia from the festival, there was a table that sold t-shirts from all different years of past Appalachian festivals.
What I was most fascinated with wasn't necessarily the all of the foods and acts, but rather the crowd that inhabited the festival. It was such a wide variety of people that not only included students, but locals as well. Surprised by the turnout, I caught up with a few students to ask their opinion on the festivities. One of those I talked to was 20 year-old junior Dylan Haje. When I asked him his favorite part of the festival, he said "I loved the music. It was very catchy with a nice local feel. Very folk like." As we continued talking he told me about the petting zoo. "Me and my girlfriend really enjoyed the petting zoo", Haje said. "That was definitely her favorite part." I then had a chance to talk with Meghan Voekel, a 22 year-old senior in her last semester. She was absolutely fascinated with the clogging dance that was performed by one of the acts. "After the cloggers finished their performance, they asked everyone in the audience to join them on stage so they could teach us a few steps..." Voekel said. "Learning and participating from individuals from the Frostburg community was my favorite part of the day."
There had been overcast all day, but the rain was not able to hold out as it down-poured in the late afternoon. I fled for cover and did not return to the festival, but the experience that me and others shared was definitely a great one. I can honestly say that we the 2014 Appalachian festival comes around, I will definitely be there for another great experience.