Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fun at the Appalachian Festival

Upon entering Frostburg State University’s upper quad for Appalachian Festival events, one would first notice the sound of music, then the sight of tents, and last but most certainly not least, the scent of festival food. Aramark’s food station was the first stop I made. I recognized the faces of students and co-workers there talking amongst themselves and to the customers. The station sold chili, bread bowls, and hot chocolate. I had heard many good things about the festival, but never really understood its purpose so, I asked Pamela Delgadillo to clarify it for me.

“The purpose of this festival is to listen to folk music,” she said, “You can quote me on that, son.” She also said the purpose of the station was to feed the hungry people. I thought she was pretty funny. Her co-worker, Nicole Nagel, told me about some of the interesting things being sold at the event. She mentioned jewelry, clothes, and stated, “Oh my gosh! There’s cool looking walking sticks!” The women seemed to be enjoying themselves, but to make sure, I asked if they were having fun. They all said yes, but a random low voice in the background said no…

The next station I visited was the Apple Butter station, Sam Beachy and Sons. There were three women working at the station and one man. The eldest woman informed me that they usually teach people how to make the apple butter, but the weather wasn’t looking too nice for the outdoor activity. Besides the already made apple butter, they also sold homemade bread, and cinnamon rolls.

Jearbryo’s Hookers and Seafood Grill was the last food station I visited. They sold the popular festival foods such as, Italian sausages and pulled pork. But most of the food they sold was seafood. Rachelle, one of the Grill’s employees, stated, “Even though the sun isn’t shining, I’m having fun.” I also met a student at the station by the name of Ms. Jasmine Chance. “I love the festival because the Amish are here,” she said, “And they have the BEST baked goods.”

About 30 ft. away was a table with Appalachian Festival shirts on it. The woman in charge of this station informed me that the shirts they were selling were not only from this year, but the past Appalachian festivals as well. The sizes ranged from small to 2 XL and they had youth sizes. The older festival shirts were less expansive, and on the back of the shirts was a list of the bands that will perform.

Beneath one of the largest tents in the festival’s area, set a number of vendors eagerly awaiting the arrival of curious customers (I would have been in serious trouble if I brought my wallet). There was one young woman in particular who I found to be very interesting. Her name is Avalon Folmsbee, and she caught my eye with her Steam Punk and skull jewelry. She has her own studio in her home, and entered the world of art through her mother, who has been in the business for 25 years. Avalon has been an artist for a little over 10 years, and is very passionate about her work.

The music and the diversity amongst the food and people made for the Appalachian Festival to be a huge success. Although the storm brought the fun to an early end, I enjoyed meeting and learning about the people and their passions. It was a pleasant experience that I suggest everyone have at some point while in Frostburg, Maryland. 

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