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CONTACT: Marguerite Jordan, (850) 245-3029, (850) 251-7282 (cell)
  Bob Giarda, (386) 397-4478

State Park to Kick Off 58th Annual Florida Folk Festival

~-Florida?s music, dance, food, crafts and stories will be celebrated~

WHITE SPRINGS ?The Florida Department of Environmental Protection?s Florida Park Service will host the 58th Annual Florida Folk Festival May 28 through 30, Memorial Day weekend, at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park. The festival features Florida tradition and history shared through live music, interpretations, displays and food. It is an event for the whole family to enjoy.

?The Florida Folk Festival continues a grand tradition of celebrating Florida?s land, people and diverse cultural heritage,? said Florida Park Service Director Mike Bullock. ?For 58 years the festival has provided a wonderful way for Floridians and visitors alike to learn about Florida?s traditions and history.?

Since 1953, folk artists have come together for one of the oldest state folk festivals in America. The Florida Folk Festival is the state?s premier heritage event, celebrating Florida?s land, people and diverse culture with daily and nightly performances by native folk and roots artists; including national recording artists, songwriters and musicians of swing, folk, blues, gospel, country, Latin, jazz, bluegrass, Caribbean and zydeco.

The festival?s more than 300 scheduled performances feature several stars, including Grammy Award winning, Nashville recording artist, Billy Dean and ?WoodSongs? Michael Johnathon, performing on the main stage Friday night and superstar Mel Tillis taking the stage on Saturday night. Other highlighted feature performances include Ben Prestage, Blind Buddy Moody, Frank Thomas, Jubal?s Kin, The Mayhaws, Larry Mangum, David Beede and Friends, Mean Mary, The Morse Family, Mark Smith and The Andrews Family.

Folk artists and tradition-bearers who reflect research and field documentation conducted by the Florida Department of State?s Folklife Program are featured each year in the Folklife Area. The theme for the 2010 Folklife Area are the diverse cultures of Alachua County. Visitors will have the opportunity to hear interpretations on Alachua County families that earned a living fishing local lakes using trotlines more than 2,000 feet long, watch master fishing fly and artificial bait makers, and learn how to call a gobbler using several types of turkey calls. A variety of music genres highlighting Alachua County?s history, including gospel, bluegrass and Irish fiddling will be featured as well.

The Folklife Area will have a sampling of tasty Asian, Indian and Latin American foods as well as breathtaking demonstrations of ancient Thai fruit and vegetable carving. Festival-goers will delight in colorful tales of Cracker life at Cross Creek and enjoy woodcarving, instrument making and stories in the ancient Yoruba tradition of West Africa.

Tickets can be purchased at the gate. Opening ceremonies will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, May 28 on the banks of the Suwannee River. Admission is $25 per day or $50 for the weekend for adults, $5 for children between the ages of six and 16 for the weekend and children under six years of age are admitted free of charge.

In 2010, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection?s Florida State Parks is celebrating 75 years of recreation and preservation. Florida?s 160 state parks offer white sandy beaches, vast open prairies, steep ravines, lush semi-tropical forests, cultural sites and crystal clear lakes, rivers and springs. Affordable, family-friendly activities, such as swimming, hiking, bicycling, paddling, diving, fishing, camping, horseback riding, birding, photography, events and ranger-led tours are just a few ways people enjoy our natural resources.

For more information, please visit www.floridastateparks.org/stephenfoster or www.FloridaFolkFestival.com. For more information on Florida state parks, visit www.floridastateparks.org.

Florida Folk Festival Logo

"The Florida Folk Festival continues a grand tradition of celebrating Florida?s land, people and diverse cultural heritage."

Mike Bullock
Florida Park Service Director


Last updated: May 27, 2010

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