Welcome to the 2011 American Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront, the tenth year of an annual celebration of authentic traditional arts. We hope that you enjoy this year’s Festival, and that you’ll make your plans to experience this grand event with the help of the following information:
From 2002 to 2004, the city of Bangor was host to the 64th, 65th, and 66th National Folk Festivals, celebrating traditional performing arts from cultures across the globe and entertaining tens of thousands of people each year. After a very successful three-year run, the community launched the American Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront in 2005, carrying on the tradition established by the National Folk Festival.
The nonprofit Bangor Folk Festival produces the AFF. The production is in partnership with the city of Bangor, Eastern Maine Development Corporation, the Maine Discovery Museum, and the Maine Folklife Center at the University of Maine. The AFF has proven that authentic traditional arts have a long-lasting place in the heart of Bangor.
This year’s American Folk Festival features 16 performing groups for your enjoyment. Mark your calendars for August 24-26, 2012, for next year’s American Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront.
There is no admission fee to attend any of the festival’s programs, including performances, demonstrations, and children’s activities. However, presenting the festival free-of-charge costs nearly $1 million, and we need your help to cover these production costs. The suggested donation is $10/day per person, $20/day per family. When you see the Donation Buckets, please consider a gift to support the event!
The volunteers who make up the Bucket Brigade and the Donation Stations are a happy corps of community volunteers who encourage festivalgoers to support the American Folk Festival. The Donation Stations are at the two main Festival entrances (at Railroad and Washington Streets). The Bucket Brigade travels throughout the Festival site. Please drop your contribution (suggested donation: $10 per person per day) in the bucket to help cover the cost of the festival.
People familiar with downtown Bangor are invited to park in any street-side parking, surface lots, or the Pickering Square Parking Garage. Or you may want to use the convenient parking at the Bass Park complex off Buck Street. Parking fees are $8 per vehicle per day, or $20 per vehicle for a three-day parking pass. The Folk Festival is pleased to be working with the Anah Shrine to facilitate parking at Bass Park. One hundred percent of your parking fee supports these two Bangor area nonprofit organizations: the Second Section of Anah Shrine and the American Folk Festival. Free shuttle service will transport people from Bass Park to the Festival site on the Penobscot River waterfront.
Free bicycle parking will be available on the Folk Festival site in a special bicycle parking area overseen by Folk Festival volunteers. Remember that Maine law requires a headlight and rear red reflectors visible from at least 500 feet when riding at night. Flashing taillights and light-colored and/or reflective clothing are highly recommended. The law requires helmets for anyone under 16 but everyone should wear a helmet to prevent head injury.
Information Booths, Festival Schedules
General festival information, the schedule of performances, and area information will be available at four information booths: near the Dance Tent, near the Railroad Stage portal, near the Food Court, and near the Children’s Village.
What to Bring
You may want to bring comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, and sunglasses. A credit card may come in handy to buy festival memorabilia and CDs of performing artists.
Collapsible chairs and a blanket would come in handy. Some stages will have seating, but others, such as the Railroad Stage, require that you bring your seating.
Don’t forget your prescription medications and, just in case, bring your insurance and Medicare cards.
What if it Rains?
Tents cover many festival stages and presentations. If the weather appears threatening, bring an umbrella. The show will go on, rain or shine, unless there is a concern for public safety.
Please do not bring pets (other than service animals) to the American Folk Festival. The large crowds — many of whom will be seated on the ground — will appreciate your animals staying at home. Your pets will be more comfortable at home than in the midst of the Festival crowds. Please read the pets article on the facing page.
You can help everyone enjoy the Folk Festival even more this year by helping to keep the air smoke-free. By not lighting up, you’ll be giving children and those with breathing difficulties a break, and you’ll be helping everyone breathe easier, including yourself.
Smoking is prohibited under any Festival tent, and in the food courts and picnic areas. Throughout other areas of the Festival, please be courteous and refrain from smoking when in a crowd of people.
Medical and Emergency Services
Minor medical emergencies will be treated at the First Aid Center, located on the road that leads to the Dance Tent. Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems sponsors and coordinates the First Aid Center.
Children who lose track of their caretakers should find a festival volunteer or staff member, who will contact security escort them to the First Aid Center (on the road leading down to the Dance Tent). All lost people will be directed to the First Aid Center unless their parties have made arrangements to meet elsewhere.
Portable restroom facilities and hand-washing stations are located at numerous spots throughout the festival site. See map for facilities closest to you.
Handicapped parking facilities will be available at Bass Park.
Several stage performances and demonstrations will be translated in American Sign Language. See the schedule in the center of this program or check at an information booth.
The Festival’s baby-changing station is located near the Children’s Village.
For your convenience, there are bins for returnable bottles and cans (and other recyclables) placed throughout the festival.
Schedule Subject to Change
Programs and performances were accurate at press time, but could change. Check at information booths for performance and scheduling updates.