As we close out the 14th annual Richmond Folk Festival, we can’t help but marvel at that feeling of connectedness and belonging that draws us in, year after year, along downtown’s historic Riverfront.
The feeling can be hard to describe to those who have never attended the festival. But in a word, we think it’s family.
After all, we’ve grown up together. Those of you who came to the first festival with young children are now parents to teenagers. Some of you met and fell in love with your future partners here. We’re honored that many more of you return to celebrate engagements, anniversaries, birthdays and other milestones with us.
But it’s more than time that we share. It’s who we are in those moments. We are our better selves. You may have felt it while you were holding hands with your neighbor as your tried to learn the Cajun two-step (“water, spice, meat and Roux”), or watching your children delight in the elaborately dressed and energetic Caribbean dance team or belting out “I’ll take you there” along with the legendary Mavis Staples last Saturday.
This celebration of traditional music, folklore and artistry from around the world brings out the very best in all of us. And whether you have been coming to the festival since the very beginning or you joined us for the first time this weekend, we thank you for being part of it.
Special thanks also to everyone who contributed to keep the festival free for all to enjoy. We simply could not do it without the generous support of our sponsors; Altria, Dominion Energy, CoStar, Community Foundation, CarMax, Lyft, Richmond Times-Dispatch, NewMarket Corp., City of Richmond, WestRock, Loveland, Genworth, VCU Health, Amtrak, LIDL, National Council for the Traditional Arts, Virginia Humanities, Children’s Museum of Richmond, NBC12 and CW Richmond, Summit Media, WCVE Music, American Civil War Museum, Hilton Richmond Downtown, and Union Bank & Trust.
And thank you to volunteers and individual donors too. Every “drop in the bucket” counts!
Here are just some of the highlights you shared with us this weekend:
We learned that at least THREE couples decided this weekend to get hitched! Congrats to Lori & Dave Humrich, Dwayne Carpenter and Carrie Morris and an unnamed third couple on your upcoming nuptials! (Was it you? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!)
Congrats to Laura and Grant Osborne on their growing family! These longtime volunteers met and later married AT the Richmond Folk Festival in 2016. The newest addition to the family is expected to make a debut any day now!
Never Missed a Fest
Cheers to those of you who have been with us from the very beginning. We’re celebrating families like the Methenas who have made the Richmond Folk Festival a family tradition.
Congratulations to Sharon and Mark Winkler of Chesterfield on 30 years of marital bliss! The couple has been coming to the Richmond Folk Festival since it began in 2005.
Welcome Brenda Quitanilla, Aleena Arif and Lily Warden to their very FIRST Folk Fest. The trio dove in head first as volunteers for the bucket brigade as part of their service hours for VCU’s Global Education program. Thanks for helping out!
We’re always thrilled to meet newcomers, like the Daniels family, as they discover the festival for the first time. Come back and see us again next year!
Jorge Monges, 90, travelled all the way from Michigan to join longtime Folk Fest fans Dan and Jennifer Monges at this year’s festival.
Sharon Adams traveled from Winchester, Virginia for a mother-daughter weekend at the Festival.
And with that, we bid a fond farewell to our extended folk family, and start counting the days until next year’s festival, scheduled for October 11-13, 2019!