Kentucky Historical Society
Ricky Skaggs to Headline Kentucky Folklife Festival September 15-17
Ricky Skaggs and Rebecca Lynn Howard will be featured concert performers on Saturday, 17 at on the Old State Capitol grounds in downtown Frankfort. Together with other artists from Kentucky’s Route 23—the “country music highway”—they will cap three days of celebrating Kentucky’s traditions at the Kentucky Folklife Festival, September 15-17.
The Festival showcases Kentucky’s living folk culture by presenting artists, communities, and families from every corner of the state. Salsa dancing, barbecue making, riverboat piloting, guitar picking, and marble shooting are just a few of the traditions that will be shared. The Kentucky Folklife Festival debuted in 1997 and is modeled after the Smithsonian’s Annual Folklife Festival held in Washington, DC.
“Everyone is part of a folk group. Folklife is the artistic and cultural traditions shared by a group and maintained over time,” says Bob Gates, festival coordinator and director of the Kentucky Folklife Program,. “When any group of people comes together to dance, make food, work, play music, or play games, they are sharing folklife.”
A wide variety of music, including bluegrass, blues, gospel, country and salsa, will be featured on several stages throughout the Festival grounds. Sounds range from traditional Bosnian music by Armin Hasangic to the rhythm of Cuban drums. Friday evening’s featured concert, September 16 at 7:00, showcases three award-winning acts on one stage – Eastern Kentucky dulcimer artist and vocalist Jean Ritchie; Western Kentucky guitar thumb-picker Eddie Pennington; and the Freedom Singers, including Kentuckian and original member Charles Neblett, with the a cappella sound that first made them a national force during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.
The Foodways Stage features a variety of mouthwatering recipes, and includes exploration of the dish’s history, cooking demonstrations, and free samples.
Artisan demonstrations including story-telling, wood-working, basket-making, boat-building and tobacco-farming will be set up on the grounds, which stretch from the Old State Capitol down Broadway to the Kentucky Riverbank. Their one-of-a-kind creations will be offered for sale.
More than 7,000 schoolchildren are expected to attend the festivities on Thursday and Friday. The Festival is considered to be a valuable teaching tool by Kentucky teachers. “Your festival touched every subject I teach. It encompasses so many aspects of Kentucky life,” noted one fifth-grade teacher who brought her class on a field trip in a previous year.
The Kentucky Folklife Festival is co-sponsored by the Kentucky Historical Society and the Kentucky Arts Council. Admission to all three days of activities, concerts and Kentucky Historical Society exhibits and sites are included with purchase of $4 Kentucky Folklife Festival collectible pin. Pins are available on site, or may be purchased in advance at the Kentucky Historical Society, 100 W. Broadway, Frankfort or Poor Richard’s Books, 423 W. Broadway, Frankfort. For more information, call 502-564-1792 ext 4486 or visit www.folklife.ky.gov.
An agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet, the Kentucky Historical Society, since 1836, has provided connections to the past, perspective on the present and inspiration for the future. KHS operates the Old State Capitol, Kentucky Military History Museum and its five-year-old headquarters, the Kentucky History Center. Since 1999, the thirty-million-dollar History Center has welcomed more than one million visitors. For more information about the Kentucky Historical Society and its programs, visit the Web at http://history.ky.gov or call (502) 564-1792.