Friends, food and fun at 12th annual American Folk Festival

Posted Aug. 23, 2013, at 8:53 p.m.
The crowd at the American Folk Festival enjoys some hot fun in the summertime at the Bangor waterfront.
The crowd at the American Folk Festival enjoys some hot fun in the summertime at the Bangor waterfront.
American Folk Festival goers crowd the parade route as Jorge Arce and Raiz de Plena lead a mass of people to the Railroad stage as the the American Folk Festival gets under way on Friday along the Bangor Waterfront.
Kevin Bennett
American Folk Festival goers crowd the parade route as Jorge Arce and Raiz de Plena lead a mass of people to the Railroad stage as the the American Folk Festival gets under way on Friday along the Bangor Waterfront. Buy Photo
Miranda Garbe and B.J. Jackson of New Jersey relax on the grass in front of the Rail Road stage as Aurelio Martinez runs through a sound check on Friday at the American Folk Festival.
Keivn Bennett | BDN
Miranda Garbe and B.J. Jackson of New Jersey relax on the grass in front of the Rail Road stage as Aurelio Martinez runs through a sound check on Friday at the American Folk Festival. Buy Photo
Stage manager Eric Annis adjusts the mic for Aurelio Martinez as he and his group run through a sound check before the opening of the American Folk Festival on Friday along the Bangor Waterfront. Martinez and his band were late arriving due to a flat tire  en route from New York.
Kevin Bennett
Stage manager Eric Annis adjusts the mic for Aurelio Martinez as he and his group run through a sound check before the opening of the American Folk Festival on Friday along the Bangor Waterfront. Martinez and his band were late arriving due to a flat tire en route from New York. Buy Photo
American Folk Festival goers dance along the parade route to the sounds of Jorge Arce and Raiz de Plena as the the American Folk Festival gets under way on Friday along the Bangor Waterfront.
Kevin Bennett
American Folk Festival goers dance along the parade route to the sounds of Jorge Arce and Raiz de Plena as the the American Folk Festival gets under way on Friday along the Bangor Waterfront. Buy Photo
American Folk Festival goers dance to the sounds of Jorge Arce and Raiz de Plena as the the American Folk Festival gets under way on Friday along the Bangor Waterfront.
Kevin Bennett
American Folk Festival goers dance to the sounds of Jorge Arce and Raiz de Plena as the the American Folk Festival gets under way on Friday along the Bangor Waterfront.
Jorge Arce and Raiz de Plena entertain the crowd at the Railroad stage as  the American Folk Festival gets under way on Friday along the Bangor Waterfront.
Kevin Bennett
Jorge Arce and Raiz de Plena entertain the crowd at the Railroad stage as the American Folk Festival gets under way on Friday along the Bangor Waterfront. Buy Photo
American Folk Festival goers fill the vendor alley as the American Folk Festival gets under way on Friday along the Bangor Waterfront.
American Folk Festival goers fill the vendor alley as the American Folk Festival gets under way on Friday along the Bangor Waterfront. Buy Photo
The Irish trio of McAuley, Horan and O'Caoimh play to a full house at the Penobscot stage American as the American Folk Festival gets under way on Friday along the Bangor Waterfront.
The Irish trio of McAuley, Horan and O'Caoimh play to a full house at the Penobscot stage American as the American Folk Festival gets under way on Friday along the Bangor Waterfront. Buy Photo
The Irish trio of McAuley, Horan and O'Caoimh play to a full house at the Penobscot stage American as the the American Folk Festival gets under way on Friday along the Bangor Waterfront.
The Irish trio of McAuley, Horan and O'Caoimh play to a full house at the Penobscot stage American as the the American Folk Festival gets under way on Friday along the Bangor Waterfront. Buy Photo

The brassy fanfares of Jorge Arce and Raiz de Plena, a Puerto Rican plena band, led a crowd down Broad Street toward the Railroad Stage during a parade that kicked-off the 2013 American Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront.

The twelfth edition of the annual celebration of music, food, dancing and community had all the things that festival-goers have come to expect — a happy crowd ready to enjoy the late summer weather and array of cultural offerings. It also brought picture-perfect weather, with temperatures in the mid-70s, a pleasant breeze and one of the clearest, bluest skies Bangor has seen all summer.

“I wouldn’t miss it for anything,” said Molly Smith of Ellsworth. “This is my third year coming and it’s always just a ton of fun. And I always eat the mini doughnuts.”

The army of volunteers this year sported yellow t-shirts with the image of dancers from the Qi Shu Fang Peking Opera Company, one of the many featured performers at the festival. Two eager Bucket Brigade volunteers stood at the unofficial entryway to the festival at the corner of Broad and Washington streets, offering stickers and schedules in exchange for some money in the donation bucket.

“I’ve been doing this at least five, maybe six years,” said 11-year-old Bangor resident Nick Prins. “I’m in the Boy Scouts so I get my good service for my granddad by volunteering. I like it when there’s good weather, and there’s lots of good people.”

He was joined by fellow regular volunteer Jon McGovern of Bangor.

“I like doing it because it’s a lot of fun, and I like volunteering and meeting a lot of different people,” said McGovern. “I volunteer in the community as well, at the Bangor Veteran’s Home. I just like helping out.”

Festivities continue on Saturday starting with three noon performances, including gospel group the Legendary Singing Stars on the Railroad Stage, a contradance in the Dance Pavilion with Frank Ferrel & Friends, and music and stories from the Maine woods with Harold Jackson and Martin Morris.

The dance stage on Friday night and Saturday afternoon had a popular attraction in rockabilly band Sonny Burgess and the Legendary Pacers, featuring pianist Lance Lipinsky, who Burgess — an 82-year-old guitarist and contemporary of Elvis Presley — said was the reincarnation of Jerry Lee Lewis.

Charlotte Patterson and her husband Al, a retired couple from Albany, New York,l had spent the week in Maine and wrapped it up with a Saturday visit to the Festival. They were particularly fond of the rockabilly this year.

“We come to Maine a lot and we try to time it with the Folk Festival,” said Charlotte Patterson. “We love all the different kinds of music, and we’re really happy there music like this this year, because we remember when it was first around.”

For a full schedule of performances, workshops and other activities happening at the American Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront, visit americanfolkfestival.com. For folk festival coverage throughout the weekend, be sure to visit bangordailynews.com, check out BDN staffers Emily Burnham and Brian Feulner on Twitter at @rockblogsterbdn and @bdnvisuals, and on Instagram at instagram.com/brianfeulner and instagram.com/instaburnham. Also, upload your own photos of the festivities at bangordailynews.com/post and like BDN Visuals on Facebook.

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