Folk Fest: How'd It Go?

By: Chris Sutter Email
By: Chris Sutter Email

It's an experience folks in East Lansing say you won't find anywhere else in the state.

"It's the atmosphere, the dancing and of course the types of music are great," Pat Cutler explains.

The Great Lakes Folk Festival draws in crowds from both near and far, crowds who are committed to the three day event.

"I've never missed one," Cutler says.

But this could be one of the most challenging years for the Folk Fest for a variety of reasons, first the downpours experienced Saturday then the sweltering heat Sunday, not to mention the fact that the Jazz Festival is being put on during the same weekend this year.

"It was a glitch in the calendars that would conceivably only happen once every decade," Marsha Mac Dowell, the Co-Director of the Folk Fest explains.

She adds, funding this year was also working against the event.

"The arts and culture is being impacted by reduced state funding," Mac Dowell says.

That coupled with the fact that the festival is fueled from the previous year's donations had her worried but, amazingly enough-- the event is still expecting to bring in around 20 thousand dollars in donations and around 90 thousand people. That's about par for the course in comparison to years past.

"We have every year, I have to say, ended in the black," Mac Dowell explains.

Which makes her sure the festival will be back in 2010, to the delight of the people who have made it an annual part of their lives.


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