Saturday, September 20, 2014

Pipes and Drums and Appalachian Festival, OH MY!

Appalachian Festival, an all around fun and colorful experience! The weather was bright, sunny, plenty warm, and there were scattered clouds in the sky; in my opinion, as perfect as the weather could have been for this festival. As for the festival itself, I can only describe it in a few words, absolutely wonderful. The blend of music, food, attractions, crafts, animals, and people was amazing to take part in. The parts I spent the most time around were the animals and the music, but the rest of the festival was very much enjoyable, too! The demographic of people that took part in the merriment of this festival ranged from very young children to some elderly adults. The majority of people there were most likely between 25-50; however, Appalachian Festival really did manage to bring out a lot of the diversity in age of the Frostburg area.
          The first thing I did when arriving at the festival, around 11 a.m., was go see the goats. These goats were so gentle, calm, and (in some cases) attention-seeking. The most fun part of this experience was that I got to actually get into the pin with the goats and interact with them, which is not something I get to do everyday!
          Next on my list of activities for the day, was when I went through a tent with a lot of animal furs and some other live animals. One of these animals was a full-grown, male Eastern Screech Owl. Don't let that description fool you, the owl was very small and adorable. Though, due to a run-in (literally) with a car and a cat, one side of the poor bird's face was maimed/scarred. Also, this bird had some brain damage sustained in that same accident; so, for it to be as well behaved as it was, with so many people around, was quite an impressive feat!
         The last event I actually stayed for the entire duration of before leaving to go to work, was the Garrett Highlands Pipes and Drums. This group performed very, very well. Their style was that of a Celtic march group. The music resonated and filled the entire Appalachian Festival with Celtic goodness. A lot of the music was played at a very moderate tempo, and that aspect of the music worked well with this particular style. The count-off's for the beginning of songs was very crisp, and nearly military-like. The group was very well presented, and clearly well-practiced. As for the crowd that watched this particular event, there were roughly 80-90 people actually stationary and watching the performance. The majority of those who were there at the beginning stayed in their respective spots until the end of the performance. Garrett Highlands Pipes and Drums held nearly the entire audience captive as they performed, even the young children! After the performance, I got several quotes from audience members and even one of the pipes players. In regards to the performance itself, an audience member stated "It was good. I'm usually into the Celtic scene as I'm Irish, and I thought it was awesome!" Another audience member described the performance from another perspective, she said, "It was...a unique sound, it kept my sixteen month-old child's attention the entire time, and you can't find that everywhere!" The last quote in regards to this performance was from one of the pipes players, Sue, who said "You enjoy playing when you see people enjoy listening!" I certainly enjoyed this performance, and I'm sure all in attendance would agree with me.
          In conclusion, Appalachian Festival was an experience that, I believe, everyone should want to attend. Between the aromas in the air, to the resonating tones of music, and even down to the animals, the Appalachian Festival was a truly amazing experience to be had and enjoyed by all!

And here is a photo during the performance:

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