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FSU Celebrates Region’s Unique Culture With Appalachian Festival

FSU Celebrates Region’s Unique Culture With Appalachian Festival

Frostburg State University’s much-anticipated Appalachian Festival will return for its ninth year from Thursday, Sept. 18, to Saturday, Sept. 20. 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 “Triple Divide,” a film about fracking in Pennsylvania. Through personal stories, expert interviews and investigation of state case files, “Triple Divide” tells a cautionary tale about a public agency meant to protect the public and environment that is instead protecting industry. The screening, which is free and open to the public, will be from 7 to 10 p.m. in the Palace Theatre at 31 E. Main St. in Frostburg.

The festival continues on Friday with this year’s symposium, “Unveiling Appalachian Otherness and Stories for Change,” from 2 to 9 p.m. on the Upper Quad. The event begins with “Economic Analysis of Shale Gas Development in Western Maryland: A Local Response to the State Study,” then highlights the work of three renowned storytellers: Silas House, Adam Booth and Wess Harris. Their presentations will emphasize narratives that rarely make the headlines – stories of racial, ethnic and sexual diversity in the region; stories of exploitation and marginalization in the coal fields; stories of environmental and social injustice and efforts addressing these issues; and stories capturing the power of place. Later, at 8 p.m., the Davis and Elkins College Appalachian Ensemble String Band and Dancers will take the stage.

Saturday daytime activities begin with Frostburg Pancake Day sponsored by the United Methodist Men and the Pantry Partners Project from 7 a.m. to noon 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.

The Session/Jam tent returns this year from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., also on the Upper Quad. Musicians of all levels will have a place to gather and play their instruments to the tune of Appalachian genres, including bluegrass, mountain music mix, Celtic and old-time.

Throughout the day, two stages will host 21 musical groups from across the region. This year’s bands will include the Bluegrass Rangers, Highland Grass, Lonesome Highway, Garrett Highlands Pipes and Drums, Davis and Elkins Appalachian Dance Ensemble, Grand Ole’ Ditch, Old Pitch with the Joe Duffey Dance Company, Blue Hill Bluegrass, Marv Ashby and High Octane, and Community Hoedown with the Barnstormers on the Compton stage, as well as the Frostburg Arion Band, Jason Twigg and Fritz Kessler, Cory and Heather Wharton, The Time Travelers, Ray Owen, Michael and Carrie Kline, Brad and Ken Kolodner, Twang!, Jay Smar, Loretta Hummel and Robert Broadwater, and Sparky and Rhonda Rucker on the Sowers stage.

Workshops include the Percussive Dance Workshop at 11 a.m. in the Folkways tent, the Harmony Workshop at 11:50 a.m. in Cook Chapel (in Frost Hall, up the steps from the Quad), Learn to Play the Dulcimer at 12:50 p.m. (for children) and 2:30 p.m. (for adults) in the Folkways tent and the Appalachian Dance Workshop with the Barnstormers and the RockCandy Cloggers at 3:20 p.m., also in the Folkways tent.

Those interested in stories and music should check out Storytelling from 1 to 3 p.m. in Cook Chapel. Accomplished storytellers Adam Booth, Jo Ann Dadisman, Katie and Otto Ross, Rich Knoblich and Sparky and Rhonda Rucker will enchant the audience with stories and lore inspired by their Appalachian upbringings. Then at 3:40 p.m., the musical Ballad and Song Swap will feature Amy Lough Fabbri, Michael and Carrie Kline, and 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, kid around with goats in the Capering Kids 4-H Goat Club pen and make traditional Appalachian toys in Hands-on Art as well as “whammy-diddle” instruments.

The festival will conclude with a capstone concert featuring the Jay Ungar and Molly Mason Band on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the Palace Theatre. The group, including some of Ungar and Mason’s all-time favorite musicians, morphs from string band to swing band, Cajun band to Celtic band and country band to Civil War-era dance orchestra. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15.30 for FSU staff and youth under 17, and $5 for FSU students. For info about the concert or to purchase tickets, visit the Lane University Center box office or call 301-687-3137.

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

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