The 23rd annual Central Ohio Folk Festival takes place this weekend at Highbanks Metro Park in Delaware County. A large 1960’s style sing-along celebrating the songs of Pete Seeger will kick off the event.
Festival spokesperson Bill Cohen says hourly spotlight concerts will feature a variety of folk music.
“So we’ve got Irish music, Jamaican music, American folk songs, Blues, a little bit of Country in there, and some Cajun,” Cohen said. “You’ll see all these tents in the field there at Highbanks Metro Park. One tent is our main stage. Then we have another stage for young performers. There’s another area where we’ll have folk dancing. So they’ve got Israeli folk dancing, British folk dancing, and you’ll be able to watch these groups. Some of them will say come up on stage and dance with us.”
The family-friendly event features a special area called an instrument petting zoo.
“This isn’t where you have goats and sheep that the kids pet,” Cohen noted. “They come, and they pick up a real violin or a banjo or a guitar or a rhythm instrument. There’s somebody there to show them how to pick it up and play it. This is a delightful thing. This may be the first time a kid ever picks up one of these musical instruments. It might be the thing that sparks them to get an interest in it and maybe want to take some lessons. And who knows, they may wind up performing.”
Cohen says most of the activities and events around the festival are free. There’s a series of hour-long workshops on topics that include songwriting and banjo picking. The workshops cost a total of $10 per day. There’s also an extra fee for a Saturday night concert featuring the bands Small Glories and Sugar and the Mint. Here's a link to the festival.