Sunday, September 22, 2013

Appalachian spirits were high, but the rain fell hard.

To some, the Appalachian Festival is all about the bluegrass music. To others, the food and social aspect is the main attraction. Saturday afternoon, at about 1:30, I arrived at the upper quad at Frostburg State University. I was ready to see what all the buzz was about as I had never been to the festival. The first thing I noticed was the music playing. The band was Hemlock Grove, and they were playing a North American folk style of music. The members of the band were Mitch Hall, Fritz Kessler, and Jason Twigg. The band was next to Guild, and was drawing quite a bit of attention. Cindi Linn, a native of Fort Ashby, was in attendance Saturday. When I spoke to her, she was listening to the band. "I love visiting festivals like this and hearing the music. Music is my favorite thing, and I think it is great that this area brings in so much diversity in music," stated Linn. She was very impressed by the festival, but said the rain had her spirits down quite a bit. As I moved through the crowd gathered as the band played, I met Frostburg native, Cathy Bradfield. I began talking to her about the festival and her favorite things. "I'm an extremely crafty person, so naturally the crafts draw my attention the most. I was very excited about the corn husk dolls," exclaimed Bradfield. She mentioned that the tent was highly visited by children. She was very excited about this. "It is awesome to see kids getting involved in the festival and having as much fun as the adults," Bradfield mentioned. As I continued through the festival, it began to rain. Most people stayed hidden under the tents, and thankfully many didn't leave. I wandered over to the food tent, my personal favorite part of all festivals, as I'm sure many would agree. I instantly smelled popcorn from the Popcorn in Paradise tent. I couldn't resist the sweet kettle corn from Patty Alexander. While in the food district, I ran into a fellow student, Maddie Bohrer, who was excited about Jearbryo's Hooker's Seafood and Grill. "I love the food at these festivals. I'm a big fan of seafood so this is great. It's so much fun," Bohrer stated. Just as I started to head out of the food area, the rain started to down pour. People started running to their cars to try to get out of the rain. Others stayed under the tents, waiting for it to let up. Unfortunately, the rain forced the rest of the events to be cancelled for the rest of the day. I was happy I made it to the festival before the cancellations happened. Most people agreed that the festival was not as highly attended due to the rain, but those that did attend had a wonderful day, despite the wet side of things. Although I didn't get to see a huge variety of events, the things I did see were very impressive. I'm excited to attend again next year minus the rain.

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