Mariposa Folk Festival returns after two-year pandemic hiatus

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Celebrate the return to live performance at the Mariposa Folk Festival.

Pam Carter, president of the Mariposa Folk Foundation, said there was something for everyone at the three-day festival.

“We have JP Saxe and Lennon Stella for the younger generation, all the way up to Blackie & The Rodeo Kings, Blue Rodeo and Mavis Staples for all the generations in between,” Carter said.

Along with an artisan village, there will also be children’s entertainers and a children’s play area which is what Carter calls the “Kids Festival“.

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Gordon Lightfoot will also be inducted into the Mariposa Hall of Fame this year, Carter noted.

Despite the pandemic forcing the festival to take a two-year hiatus, Carter said they have had tremendous support from patrons and sponsors.

“Recipients knew that broadcasters and festivals had to be there when the economy started to recover, so we were really lucky that way,” she said.

Carter added that her return would be a huge reunion.

“We have volunteers that we haven’t seen in three years…we have hands-on activities, so come back and get together, catch up with your friends,” she said.

The importance of the festival to the community is not new; with a history dating back to 1961, it is one of the oldest festivals in North America. It all started when Ruth Jones attended a city council meeting about the economic benefits of small town tourism. Jones’ love of folk music inspired her to create the festival.

Originally held in Orillia for its first three years, when customers began to outnumber Orillia citizens, it entered what Carter called its “nomadic years”, when it bounced around in multiple locations. Eventually he returned to Orillia in 2000 and has remained there ever since.

The festival runs from July 8 to 10. Tickets can be purchased on the Mariposa Folk Festival website. here.

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