National Folk Festival Kicks Off in Downtown Salisbury
SALISBURY, Md. – The 80th Annual National Folk Festival in Salisbury kicked off festivities at 6:30 p.m. with musical performances and food vendors out on the streets of downtown Salisbury.
Event organizers told 47 ABC they are expecting lots of people, especially from out of town coming to the festival, which they believe will drive up sales for local restaurants.
They say with the number of people they expected for the festival this year, safety was their number one consideration, not breaking the record over the over 150,00 people that arrived for the festival in 2019.
“This year we don’t care about the size, to be honest, we are happy we are together again we are able to be together again and do it safely so if we have a joyful weekend with a lot of fun and everyone is safe that’s the success for us,” said Festival Organizer Caroline O’Hare.
O’Hare told 47ABC that all the crew of the event were given covid checks and vaccinated, and a vaccination stand would be part of the festival to help any attendees who may not have yet scheduled their shots.
She says she expects those attending the event to stay safe and to be ‘good neighbors.’
“A good neighbor wears a mask a good neighbor washes their hands and a good neighbor social distances when they can and gets vaccinated that is huge for us,” she said.
She says in 2019 the festival saw over 150,000 people and that was with rainy weather the whole weekend.
This year its set to be a sunny weekend featuring blues, cajun, and even gospel music for people to enjoy
Restaurants in downtown Salisbury are getting in on the action too, by setting up pop-up food tents and seating in the streets.
Businesses like Roadie Joes say thanks to the folk festival they have a lot of walk-in customers to look forward to.
“It’s huge for us I mean we are gonna get a lot of revenue that comes from out of town it’s gonna be huge for us and everyone in the community,” said Roadie Joes Owner Jeremy Norton.
But it’s not just food and music to enjoy, those who come to the Folk Festival will see all kinds of attractions such as the traditional blacksmithing stand that will be smelting out metal tools with hot metal right at the fair.
They say they are thrilled to share their passion with the crowds this weekend.
“I feel blessed to be here I think it’s really exciting that we have been offered the time and space to present what we are doing,” said Blacksmith Erin Aylor.
All those who were out making their final preparations for the festival say they are so proud of the event they’re putting on and what it means to the community in Salisbury.
“When you hear people from out of town that come in and talk about how beautiful our downtown is and how amazing our main street is being from Salisbury that’s a really awesome thing to hear because we weren’t hearing that for so many years,” she said.
Organizers announced Friday that the National Folk Festival would be returning to Salisbury next year for 2022, with the festival running from August 26th to 28th.