Friday, May 3, 2013

Florida Folk Festival Offers Music, History, Folk Life and More

A view of the river from Suwannee River State Park.
Florida Department of Environmental ProtectionMay 3, 2013 Newsletter

Florida Folk Festival Offers Music, History, Folk Life and More

Tickets are on sale now for this three-day festival held Memorial Day weekend in White Springs.
The mainstage at the Florida Folk Festival.
The main stage at the Florida Folk Festival.
The 61st Annual Florida Folk Festival will be held Memorial Day weekend (Friday, May 24 through Sunday, May 26) at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs, Florida.
This year’s entertainers include a variety of talented performers: Bellamy Brothers, Jim Stafford, Ben Prestage, Moors & McCumber, Passerine, Jubal’s Kin, The Currys, Ed Cotton, Mindy Simmons & the Hot Pockets, Bing Futch, Rachel Carrick, Frank Thomas, Montine Humphries, Doug Gauss and many more!
Since 1953, folk artists have come together for this event. It is the oldest, continuous state folk festival in America. This event will continue the grand tradition of celebrating Florida’s land, people and diverse cultural heritage. With more than 300 performances by Florida’s greatest folk and roots artists, including national recording artists, songwriters and musicians of swing, folk, blues, gospel, country, Latin, jazz, bluegrass, Caribbean and zydeco music, it is truly an event not to be missed.
Folk artists and tradition-bearers presented each year in the Folklife Area reflect research and field documentation conducted by the Florida Department of State's Folklife Program. The Folklife Area celebrates the diverse cultures of the Lower St. Johns River Basin. Be sure to visit the Folklife Area to experience the compelling traditions and savor the flavors, sights and sounds of some of Florida's oldest and newest cultural communities.
At the Florida Folk Festival, one can sit with the masters who keep cultural traditions alive. In jam sessions, demonstrations and workshops, visitors can try their hand at playing a mandolin, telling stories or making a pine needle basket. They may also learn how to collect their family's history, call a square dance or the importance of native plant and animal species. They may take a shopping excursion and visit with Florida's traditional and contemporary craftsmen, then dine on collard greens and cornbread, chicken pilau and hoppin' john, shrimp gumbo, barbecue, curries, gyros and lime fizzes. As the sun sets, visitors can settle in for concerts by moonlight or dancing the night away at the Heritage Stage. At the end of the day, visitors will have discovered new corners of the state from the people who call Florida home.
Advance tickets for the Florida Folk Festival are $25.00 per day or $50.00 for the entire weekend for adults. Tickets bought at the festival gate are $30.00 per day or $60.00 for the entire weekend. Children under six years of age are admitted free of charge. Ticket prices for children between the ages of six and 16 for the entire weekend are $5.00.
Tickets provided by Elevate Ticketing and can be purchased online or on the Facebook page.
For more information, please call 1-877-6FL-FOLK (1-877-635-3655) or visit Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park or the Florida Folk Festival.
Viva Florida! 500. Florida’s state parks and trails are joining the Florida Department of State in commemorating 500 years of Florida history throughout 2013. This significant milestone marks the anniversary of Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon’s landing on the east coast of a mysterious land – a land he named La Florida.
Join us throughout 2013 as we commemorate Florida's rich heritage and the events that have shaped the state.

Biking is Fun in Florida

Celebrate May as National Bike Month with a ride in the park or on the trail.
Bicycles in a bike rack
Bicycles in a bike rack.
May is National Bike Month. This national event sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists® promotes fun, healthy and environmentally-friendly outdoor activities on bicycles.
Children and adults are encouraged to ride their bicycles throughout the month by participating in one or both of these occasions:
  • Wednesday, May 8, Bike-to-School Day
  • Monday through Friday, May 13-17 Bike-to-Work Week
  • No matter what the reason is to ride -- exercise or recreation -- bicycling is a year-round activity in Florida.
    Bicycling is always fun at state parks. Many visitors use the paved loop park drive at state parks for moving around within the park. Many parks offer biking trails or multi-use trails. Try biking the Lake Overstreet trails at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee, the hard-packed beach or off-road trails at Fort Clinch State Park in Fernandina Beach, the Bulow Woods Trail at Bulow Creek State Park in Ormond Beach, the off-road trail for fat-tired bikes at Highlands Hammock State Park in Sebring or the paved bike path at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne.
    Enjoy the Spring Suwannee Pedal and Paddle Festival at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs from Thursday, May 2 through Sunday, May 5. The Suwannee Bicycle Association will host three days of cycling through scenic rural roads lined with wildflowers or riding the beautiful single track mountain bike trails. Paddle trips will also be available.
    On Thursday, May 9, we'll celebrate the designation of the Palatka-to-St. Augustine State Trail as part of the East Coast Greenway, which stretches from Maine to Key West, Florida. Ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. at Armstrong Park in Elkton.
    Mountain biking (Yes! There are mountain biking trails in Florida) is a challenge at Santos Bike Trails East on the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway outside Ocala, Alafia River State Park south of Tampa, Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound and Oleta River State Park in North Miami.
    Some state parks rent bicycles. Call ahead to inquire or check the website.
    Florida's designated state trails offer paved trails for bicycles. No matter where you live, play or exercise, there's one near you. In the panhandle, the Blackwater Heritage State Trail winds through the historic town of Milton and extends eight miles north to join the U.S. Navy's 1.5-mile Military Heritage Trail, which ends at the Naval Air Station Whiting Field. You'll find bike rentals at the Milton Trail Head and bicycle racks at both the Milton and Visitor Center trailheads.
    Remember: Safety first. Always wear a helmet (Florida law requires a helmet for those under 16) and follow the rules of the road. Always follow these safety guidelines from the National Safety Council.

    Take Your Kids to the Park

    Celebrate National Kids to Parks Day on Saturday, May 18.
    Two girls on a trip to the park.
    Earth Day at Honeymoon Island State Park
    Plan now for a family trip to a state park on Saturday, May 18 in honor of National Kids to Park Day.
    Many Florida state parks have organized special events appropriate for children and families:
  • Nature Hike at Fort George Island Cultural State Park in Jacksonville, 2 p.m.
  • Discovery Hike at Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach, 10 a.m.
  • Introduction to Kayak Fishing at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park in North Palm Beach, 1 p.m.
  • Scavenger Hunt at Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound, 10 a.m.
  • Nature Fest at Lake Louisa State Park in Clermont, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Civil War Weekend at Orman House Historic State Park in Apalachicola, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Disasters & Dreams Powerpoint Program at Sebastian Inlet State Park in Melbourne Beach, 1 p.m.
  • Stargazing at Silver River State Park in Ocala, 7:30 p.m.
  • Topsail Nature Hike at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in Santa Rosa Beach, 3 p.m.
  • National Kids to Parks Day is a nationwide grassroots movement which was established as part of National Park Trust’s ongoing efforts to connect youth across the country with nature and encourage them to explore outdoors – especially at parks in their communities. National Kids to Parks Day is held on the third Saturday every May and is responsible for bringing more than 100,000 kids and families to parks.

    Other Special Events and Family Fun

    Upcoming Special Events

    Other Important News

      Mobile App for Smartphones
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