The Appalachian Festival, a musical, cultural, and historical festivity held on the grounds of Frostburg State University. Never have a witnessed such a fine collection of arts in one place, or experienced the sounds of different musical groups playing all at once with a cohesive ring. It was astonishing.
I took a seat to watch Garrett Highlands Pipes and Drums. “It’s a hot day, got to get in the shade.” says one man who sees me take shelter to watch the show, and he is indeed right. It was a beautiful 75 degrees outside, with perfect sunny weather. The music of the bass drum hitting and reverberating around and the sound of the bagpipes playing was something remarkable. These people really knew what they were doing. The music they were creating filled the audience so that some people, mostly children, got up and danced next to them.
There were smiles all around to fill anyone with joy, but one cannot sit still and see just one event. One gets anxious to see the other attractions and find that there are plenty of things to do and sights to see. Stands filled with jewels, foods, arts, and an assortment of other trinkets. It is a paradise, a flea market, or better, a fair. I took my time walking, sampling from different places, purchasing different edibles. One such edible is from a fresh ice cold Apple Cider stand. It was cold, sweet, and homemade. Never had I tasted something so delicious and would recommend it to anyone.
So many things around you and seeing so many sights, it is a wonder someone does not get lost. It truly is a remarkable festival. One student, from a different college says, “I like the atmosphere of the area…” She is right to like it. The atmosphere is fun, entertaining, and fresh. It’s natural air coming from the people that walk from stand to stand, or from people selling their bits and bobbles.
Not only that atmosphere, but the music as well. No matter where someone walks, music of all different sorts is in ear shot, and it can certainly catch your ear. One certainly caught mine as I walked and that was the Davis and Elkins Appalachian Dance Ensemble. With only a guitar, a violin, and body rhythms they made beautiful, harmonic sounds. Two instruments and a person dancing. It was truly amazing. I recommend seeing a show by them, or just listening to the sounds of their music.
This whole event though, was a wonderful experience. It is like going to a street fair, however I do warn, there were many bees and wasps roaming and plenty of sun. So bring a hat, some water, and definitely some excitement because this is a party worth going to. Take in the music, take in the sights, and enjoy a fun time. This festival certainly shows the history of the area, as well as the wonderful smiles of many a kind face.