Sunday, September 22, 2013

Frostburg's Appalachian Festival Leaves Nothing to be Desired

Crafts, baked goods, goats, owls and baby turtles, the smell of chili and crab cakes, and the sound of bluegrass in the background. What do all of these have in common? They can be experienced at the Appalachian Festival in the Upper Quad of Frostburg State University.

Crowds of people come to this event, which is open to the community. Michael Shannon, a junior at Frostburg State, says he finds it nice that "there are a lot of non-campus community who have come out to support this event."

There were events for people of all ages at the festival. Adults crowded around the tents with performers, listening to various music styles. The Children's Tent was a hit with the youngsters, who listened enthusiastically. Children laughed together as they chased each other around a tree, and played hide and seek. No matter what age, there was something to do for everyone.

Appealing to animal lovers, The Capering Kids Goat Club had a fenced in area that held several goats. Anyone who wanted to could step in and pet and feed them. Both children and adults were eager to jump on the opportunity. Travis Hickey, a sophomore at Potomac State says, "It was a very cool experience getting to go in the pen and pet the goats, and attempt to feed them."

The festival also featured a woman from the Rocky Gap State Park who had alongside a couple owl friends, and questioned the audience on various trivia points. They enthusiastically participated, answering her questions about owls, including the Barn Owl, as she had with her at the festival. One point she stressed very carefully is what to do when you come across a baby owl in the wild, without its mother. She says many people think it's on its own, and they feel the need to rescue it. But that mother knows exactly where she left it. She says, "It's important that if we ever see a baby out on its own in the wild, that we leave it there." She also had two baby turtles that quickly became a popular attraction.

The vendors were the highlight of the day for many, as everyone seemed impressed by their variety. Under the "Sugar and Spice Bakery" tent, there seemed to be any cookie or fudge available to satisfy any craving. At the neighboring tent, the vendors sold anything from hand carved clay masks, woven baskets, walking sticks, to root beer, and more. The food options were many, including chili, hot dogs, and even crab cakes. There were numerous tents surrounding the Upper Quad for different performers. From Scottish pipes to bluegrass, it was certainly a fair display of Appalachian music. Frostburg sophomore Caitlin Taylor sums it up by saying she was most impressed by "the diversity of the vendors, and Lonesome Highway was really good."

Not even the rain could dampen the excitement of the crowd as they enjoyed another Appalachian Festival. The wide variety of vendors from food to crafts to music left no one disappointed. Odds are, people will be returning next year.

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