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Frostburg State University Celebrates Region’s Unique Culture With Appalachian Festival

Frostburg State University’s much-anticipated Appalachian Festival will return for its eighth year from Thursday, Sept. 19, to Saturday, Sept. 21. The free, family-friendly event brings together artists and craftspeople to celebrate all that makes the region unique – its history, culture, music, food and more – with performances, workshops, displays, discussions and activities.

The festival will kick off Thursday night with the screening of two films centered on the subject of social justice. The first film, “Anne Braden: Southern Patriot,” explores the triumphant spirit of an Appalachian woman who committed her life to social justice. The second, “Morristown: In the Air and Sun,” is a decade-long investigation of an Appalachian town caught in the throes of globalization and demographic change. The screenings, which are free and open to the public, will be from 7 to 10 p.m. in room 226 of the Compton Science Center.

To further explore the theme of social justice, a symposium, “Social Justice in Appalachia: Addressing Regional Challenges,” will be held on Friday at 1 p.m. on the Upper Quad. It will be preceded by a performance, “The Music of Coal Country,” with singer-songwriter Jay Smar at noon.

Saturday daytime activities begin with the Frostburg Rotary Club Pancake Breakfast from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Michael’s Church in Frostburg. Then, starting at 10 a.m., the public is welcome to check out the daylong presentations, arts and crafts demonstrations, live music, environmental talks and more on FSU’s Upper Quad.

This year’s festival boasts the addition of the new Session/Jam Tent. Musicians of all levels will have a place to gather and play their instruments to the tune of Appalachian genres, including bluegrass, Celtic and old-time.

Throughout the day, two stages will host over 15 musical groups from across the region. This year’s bands will include Lonesome Highway, The Barnstormers and the RockCandy Cloggers, Blue Shades, Old Pitch with the Joe Duffey Dance Company, Black Diamond, Mountain Therapy and Grand Ole’ Ditch on the Compton stage; the Frostburg Arion Band, Loretta Hummel and Robert Broadwater, Striped Mountain Hollow, Hemlock Grove, Ken and Brad Kolodner, The Time Travelers, Kathleen and Ed Myers, The Lickety Split Banjo Boys and Ray Owen on the Sowers stage; and Garrett Highlands Pipes and Drums in the center circle of the Upper Quad.

Workshops, including the RockCandy Cloggers’ dance workshop on the basic steps of Appalachian flat-footing at 1:45 p.m. and a workshop on shape-note singing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., are another fun feature of the festival.

Those interested in stories and music should check out Storytelling from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in Cook Chapel (in Frost Hall, up the steps from the Quad). Accomplished storytellers Adam Booth, Jo Ann Dadisman, Katie and Otto Ross, Bill Hairston and Rich Knoblich will enchant the audience with stories and lore inspired by their Appalachian upbringings. Then at 3:35 p.m., those interested can stay for the musical Ballad Swap featuring Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter and national recording artist Ray Owen.

In addition to plenty of food and entertainment for all ages, the festival will provide activities and programming specifically for the younger attendees. Children can be entertained by Punch and Judy puppet shows, join in sing-alongs with Owen, make “whammy-diddle” instruments with musician Slim Harrison and kid around with goats in the Capering Kids 4-H Goat Club pen.

One of the festival’s highlights will be the unveiling of the Appalachian Independent’s One Vision Many Voices community quilt and music video at 2:30 p.m. The quilt, crafted from fabric squares decorated by Appalachian residents, showcases what people value most about Appalachia. The music video is for “Wherever Rivers Flow,” a song created by the mountain community and performed by folk duo Magpie and students from Beall Elementary School. Both were the artistic products of the year-long project, which encouraged the community to address the question, “How do we embrace what we value in our community while moving toward a healthier, more sustainable future?” Both will be revealed under the Folkways tent.

The festival will conclude with a capstone concert, “From Ireland to Appalachia,” on Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Pealer Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center. The concert will feature Celtic musician Seán Keane and husband and wife duo Al Petteway and Amy White. Tickets are $18 for adults and $5 for students. For more information about the concert or to purchase tickets, visit

To learn more about the FSU Appalachian Festival, visit, look for it on Facebook, or email

The FSU Appalachian Festival is supported in part with funding from FSU, the FSU Foundation, 91.9 WFWM, the City of Frostburg, the State Employees Credit Union, the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), the Maryland Traditions Program of MSAC, the Allegany County Arts Council and FSU’s Cultural Events Series.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit or Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301-687-4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1-800-735-2258.


For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589