Salisbury extinguishes the National Folk Festival welcome sign

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Salisbury is once again ready to welcome 100,000 or more people this weekend as the 81st National Folk Festival begins on Friday.

After Covid-19 forced a cancellation of 2020 and a scaled-down event last year, this year’s schedule is looking more and more like the memorable pre-pandemic years.

Festival organizers expect good turnout as life returns to normal.

“People are excited to go to events,” festival director Caroline O’Hare said. “Everyone is excited.”

The festival will take place from Friday to Sunday in the city center. This is a free event and will take place rain or shine.

The performances will take place over four stages. The Richard A. Henson Foundation stage on Division Street in front of the government office building will provide protection from the elements with a tent over the seating area this year, O’Hare said. Other locations are the TidalHealth Stage on Carroll Street, the Perdue Dance Pavilion in the large parking lot near the library, and the Folklore Stage of Maryland Traditions near the downtown parking lot.

All stages will be under tents except TidalHealth which is under a large shade tree, O’Hare said.

This year’s artists come from a wide range of genres including Walter “Wolfman” Washington & The Roadmasters with Funk and R&B Music, Cowboy & Western Music from Wylie & The Wild West and UE with Sugar Bear with go-music. go.

Other artists will offer Ukrainian folk music, zydeco, steel guitar, bluegrass, Himalayan music and African American spirituals.

This year will see a return to the market and family zone, Mayor Jake Day said. The two areas were not included last year because Covid-19 was still a concern, especially among children who could not be vaccinated.

Despite last year’s scale event, the festival proved popular, Day said.

“We had a big footfall, but a small footprint,” he said.

This year’s market will feature 26 artisans and artisans from the Delmarva Peninsula and across Maryland offering their wares. The family neighborhood includes children’s activities and street performers, including a juggler and skateboard demonstrations.

This year’s National Folk Festival will mark the final year of the event’s residency in Salisbury. In 2023, the festival will transition to the Maryland Folk Festival and remain in Salisbury.

The National Folk Festival will then move on to another host city for the next three years. This city has not yet been announced.

Salisbury held the event in 2018 and 2019, but it was canceled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a virtual event was held instead. A live version of it returned last year. Salisbury has been chosen to host it for the fourth time this year.

Here’s what you need to know in the previous days and during the event:

Downtown streets will be closed

Downtown streets will be closed to traffic starting next week in the area linked by Route 50, Route 13, Carroll Street and Mill Street.

A majority of street closures will take place on Friday morning of the festival. Any cars left on the streets as part of the festival will have to clear by 6am as the hard barricades will close the footprint.

Festival hours

The festival opens Friday at 6 p.m. and ends at 9:30 p.m. Saturday hours are 12 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Food vendors and the festival market will open at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Admission

Admission is free, but festival-goers are encouraged to make donations. A group of volunteers known as the Bodet Brigade will circulate asking for support. The suggested donation is $10 per person per day.

Free parking

For the safety of the guests, the circulation of vehicles is not authorized on the real site of the event. To reach the festival, customers can use one of the car parks listed below and enter the site on foot. Parking will be free all weekend at these lots and the city parking lot:

  • Lot 35, Fitzwater and West Main Streets.
  • Lot 7, Lemmon Hill Lane.
  • Lot 13, West Chestnut Street.
  • Lot 9, Church Street.
  • Lot 10, East Church Street and Poplar Hill Avenue.
  • Lot 5, East Main Street.
  • Downtown parking garage, East Market Street.
  • Lot 30, Main Lake and West Streets.
  • Lot 33, West Main Street.
  • TidalHealth gravel lots, behind the hospital on Waverly Drive.

There will also be a free bicycle valet service in the fenced and gated area in front of the Delmarvanow building. The bicycles will be secured there under the watchful eyes of the volunteers.

Accessibility

This year there will only be two courtesy golf carts that will carry anyone with mobility issues – including pregnant women and the elderly – between the different stages of the festival. Six-seater golf carts will operate on a loop through the festival grounds, and anyone in need of a ride can flag one down. Both will be clearly marked as courtesy carts.

“We’re very happy to have that this year,” O’Hare said.

Festival organizers have also prepared an accessibility map that shows distances between stages, and they have marked routes for wheelchairs and other mobility devices. Each of the stages will have spaces reserved for mobility devices.

Designated disabled parking spaces are available in all city lots and the downtown parking lot. Anyone with mobility issues can be dropped off at a marked area on Church Street near the back of Roadie Joe’s.

Food

Sixteen food vendors will be located throughout the festival area, offering everything from crab cakes, jerk chicken, ribs, soba noodles, barbecue and mac and cheese to fruit smoothies and ice cream.

Among them are American Fruit Smoothie, Espresso A Go Go, Hot and Fresh Grill, Island Noodles, Johnson Bay Oyster Company, Kona Ice, London Court Beverage, The Milestone, NC Ribs on Wheels, North Star Catering, Sherri’s Crab Cakes, Smoothie Island, Spready Oak Country Café, Thai Master Grill, the chicken smells good, Virginia Vendor Food Service.

Throughout the festival there will be a variety of non-alcoholic refreshments as well as beer and wine.

Additionally, there will be water bottle refill stations

Festival goers can also choose from many restaurants, bars and cafes in the area including Brew River, The Brick Room, Cake Art, Caribbean Flava, The Edge Lounge at Laquinta, Evolution Craft Brewing Company, Junior’s Jerk Chicken & Ribs, Mad Hatter Café, Market Street Innmojo’s, Mogan’s Oyster House, Revival, Rise Up Coffee, Roadie Joe’s, Room & Board (Maya Bella’s Pizza), Sugar Rush by Theresa, Sushi de Kanpai, Together Café, Two Scoops Ice Cream & Waffles and the Tarte laide located on or near the festival grounds.

Pets and other prohibited items

Pets, with the exception of service animals, are not permitted at the festival.

Other prohibited items are:

  • Coolers or large backpacks
  • Alcohol
  • Bottles and other glass containers
  • Contraband like drugs and weapons
  • Laser pointers
  • Flying objects such as drones, kites, frisbees, soccer balls

What to bring

Recommended items include:

  • Solar cream
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Mask
  • Credit card and ID if you wish to have a beer (beer booths do not accept cash)
  • Poncho or rain jacket
  • Blanket or chair, although the festival provides audience members with approximately 4,000 chairs at the festival site.

Time

The forecast for the weekend is for temperatures in the mid to high 80s. The folk festival will take place rain or shine.

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