Great Lakes Folk Festival Brings Large Crowd to East Lansing

Dancing and live music. That's what took over Downtown East Lansing today.

Over the weekend, nearly 80,000 people attended the Great Lakes Folk Festival.

Both participants and vendors said it's the atmosphere and programs of the festival that keep them coming back every year.

"It's a great little festival, you know, it helps that we make some money, but it's a nice vibe here in East Lansing. You got the MSU crowd, you have the Lansing crowd, you know, so it's a nice, it's a nice vibe," said Nasir Nuruddin, who runs a jewelry booth.

Fellow vendor, Mel Swartz, agreed. "They have a very nice clientele here. You know, people who appreciate the arts and appreciate music and things that are folky."

Deborah Mulcahey has come to the festival every year since it began. She said she and her husband became financial sponsors a few years back to show their appreciation.

"We think it's a great opportunity for the community as a whole and there's not many places that you can get the great diversity of music that you do here," Mulcahey explained.

The festival offered five stages of music, hands on activities and interactive opportunities for the community.

Co-Director Kurt Dewhurst called it a showcase of the traditional arts and culture of Michigan.

"You can learn to swing dance with a swing group, you can learn waltzing traditions coming out of Scandinavia, you can get a chance to learn to dance to zydeco music. So more and more, we're providing opportunities for people not to just sit back and watch, but to get up and get involved," he said.

Dewhurst said planning for next year's festival starts tonight.


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