PLEASE NOTE: Festivities will be held rain or shine. In the event of torrential downpour or heavy storms, the event will relocate to the Cordts Physical Education Center Arena.
Frostburg State University will celebrate the Appalachian culture found in Western Maryland and the surrounding mountain region with a daylong outdoor festival on Saturday, Sept. 23, starting at 10 a.m.
FSU’s Appalachian Festival, what is hoped to be one of many, will transform the University’s upper quad into a celebration of the wide-ranging influences of Appalachian culture, showcasing the region's finest artistic and musical traditions, along with a wide variety of living history presentations, talks on local flora and fauna and plenty of food. All daytime activities, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., are free and open to the public.
The day’s events will be capped of with "From Ireland to Appalachia," a concert featuring Liz Carroll, John Doyle, Dirk Powell and Bruce Molsky performing the best in traditional acoustic music in the Pealer Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center. Separately, all are geniuses of their instruments — exciting performers and composers who take the traditions of Irish, Appalachian and rural American music into daring, inventive new directions. Carroll and Doyle represent the best of traditional Irish music, while Molsky and Powell demonstrate the some of the finest American folk music.
Tickets for the concert are $15 for the general public, with discounts available for children and FSU students, faculty and staff. Tickets are available by calling 1-866-TIXX-CES (1-866-849-9237) toll free or 301-687-3137, visiting online at ces.frostburg.edu or in person at the Lane University Center Box Office.
The day will be filled with music at the FSU outdoor stage, with the music of Appalachia ranging from traditional folk and bluegrass to bagpipes to an African American gospel choir, all performed by regional artists. Goat milking demonstrations, archaeological exhibitions and living history activities can also be found on festival grounds. And an Appalachian Wagon Train will visit the festival from noon to 1 p.m.
The festival’s activities will be divided into a series of thematic tents. The Appalachian Explorations tent will offer presentations in the history of the region and the scientific underpinnings of much of what makes this area special, including wildlife, farming and the study of native plants and their uses. The Folkways tent will offer introductions to such Appalachian arts as shape note singing, basket making and beekeeping. In the Children’s Hands-On tent, kids can try out crafts like weaving, corn-husk dolls, quilt puzzles and much more. And the Arts and Crafts tent will provide a broad range of demonstrations and sales of Appalachian handiwork and locally Amish-made crafts from furniture to needlework to braided rugs.
In conjunction with the Appalachian Festival, the Frostburg Rotary Club will host a buckwheat pancake breakfast from 7 a.m. to noon in the cafeteria of St. Michaels Church, on Main Street in Frostburg.
To kick off the festival, on Friday, Sept. 22, the historic Frostburg Palace Theatre on Main Street will present two feature-length documentaries focusing on Appalachian life, "Stranger With A Camera" and "Sludge." The director of “Sludge,” Robert Salyer, will speak as part of a discussion following the films.
For those who didn't hear enough music on Saturday, the 13th Annual Mid Atlantic Fiddle and Banjo contest sponsored by the Cumberland Lions Club will be Sunday, Sept. 24, at the Culinary Café on downtown Cumberland's Towne Centre.
For more information about the festival, including a schedule of presentations, visit the Web site at http://involvement.frostburg.edu/cultevents/Appalachian.html .
Festival collaborators include Frostburg State University and several university organizations and departments, including the Cultural Events Series, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the University Programming Council, the FSU folklore program, and media sponsor WFWM. Additional collaborators include the Frostburg Palace Theatre, the Maryland State Arts Council and Maryland Historical Trust Maryland Traditions program and the National Center for Traditional Arts. This festival is made possibly with grant support from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.
FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. You may request accommodations through ADA Compliance Office at 301-687-4102, TDD 301-687-7955.