Amphitheater & Old Marble Crafts • Folklife Area • Seminole Camp
Craft Square • Children's Area • Workshops • Banjo Contest • Dance
Fiddle Contest • Food • Environmental Awareness
A Weekend of Entertainment, Participation and Exhibits
Along the banks of the historic Suwannee River in White Springs, Florida, folk artists have gathered to celebrate Florida’s land, people, and diverse cultural heritage. Since its humble beginning in 1953, the Florida Folk Festival has not only grown to become Florida’s most prestigious affair, but also named “Florida’s Best Cultural Event.” In 2014, the festival was recognized by the Southeast Tourism Society with the honor of being a “Top 20 Event” in the southeastern United States.
The Florida Folk Festival is in the process of booking featured performers for the 2015 show. In the meantime we're thrilled to announce the following featured artists and guest performers that have been confirmed for the 63rd Annual Florida Folk Festival:
With roots in both African and Seminole Indian cultures, Bing Futch's window to America is a unique landscape of music, words and imagery. He began playing Appalachian mountain dulcimer at Knott's Berry Farm theme park in 1986, working at a Ghost Town shop for Bud & Donna Ford. That same year, Futch founded techno-punk band Crazed Bunnyz, a trio that grew popular in the international underground college radio scene and has remained a fan favorite long after disbanding in 1988. Since then, he has enjoyed a diverse and prolific solo career, composing dozens of scores for film, theater, themed attractions and television. In 1994, he wrote and recorded music for The Castle of Miracles in
Festival favorite, Billy Dean, a native of Quincy, Florida, was raised appreciating the value of music and has a diverse array of musical influences. After attending college on a basketball scholarship, Billy moved to Nashville in 1983 and by 1990 had recorded his first Top 5 Hit "Only Here For A Little While." Since then, Billy has transcended genres with his unique repertoire earning numerous awards, including: The Academy of Country Music's Song of the Year for "Somewhere In My Broken Heart", ACM New Male Vocalist of The Year, BMI Pop Awards, BMI Song Awards, BMI Million Air Plays Award, Country Music Television Rising Star Award, NSAI Song of The Year, and a Grammy for a "Country Tribute: Amazing Grace."
Billy's appeal reaches beyond the music world. He has appeared on numerous television shows as well as made-for TV movies, including: Blue Valley Songbird, A Face to Kill For, Lois & Clark, One Life to Live, Diagnosis Murder, Good Morning America, The Tonight Show, The Montel Show, and many others.
After twelve albums and eleven Top 10 singles spanning over a period of eighteen years, Billy has founded the publishing company BDMG (Billy Dean Music Group). Billy continues to make contributions to the Country Music world by building brands with music and empowering children, by being a spokesperson for Averitt Cares For Kids, and Sunkist's Take A Stand Program.
His latest album "Let Them Be Little" was inspired by those closest to him, his two children Hannah and Eli. Billy's illustrious career was recently recognized with a proclamation from the State of Tennessee House of Representatives.
Born and raised in rustic Clay County, Florida songwriter Frank Thomas has native Florida lineage dating back to the late 18th century. Few other songwriters can claim such a strong Florida heritage and sharing his love of Florida is the inspirational thread woven throughout his music and storytelling. He has been given many titles including the Dean of Florida Folk (for the many song-writing assignments he has given over the years), The Grand Old Man of Florida Folk, and is considered one of the most prolific songwriters in Florida.
In the 60s, Thomas toured nationally with several well-known bluegrass groups, most notably the legendary Arkansas Travelers. Thomas and beloved wife Ann settled into the "Cracker Palace," a Florida style home down Rattlesnake Hammock Road on the ridge just outside of Lake Wales. From there, Frank and Ann Thomas became the most well known duo in Florida music. Ann's big daddy thumping bass, deep rooted harmony singing and humorous jabs at her husband helped make them one of Florida's most popular acts. Frank and Ann Thomas traveled Florida, performing their unique music at schools, festivals, music and folk clubs, on television, and on concert stages. During the 80s, they produced and hosted the first Florida folk music radio show, weekly, on Tampa's WMNF. Their video "Florida History in Song," won the Florida Historical Societies coveted Golden Quill Award. Other awards received include the prestigious Florida Folk Heritage Award, The Inaugural Jillian Prescott History Award and The Stetson Kennedy Foundation Fellow -Man & Mother Earth Award. Frank was recently honored and inducted into the Florida Artist Hall of Fame -- Florida's most prestigious recognition!
Since Ann's death in 2004, Frank has continued his art as the patriarch of Florida folk music and is still a prolific songwriter: his catalogue numbers more than 500 songs -- all about Florida! A portion of them can be found on his nine albums, including Cracker Nights, Florida Stories, Bingo, Spanish Gold, and Just another Day in the Life of a Florida Cracker. For many years, Frank has hosted the River Gazebo stage at the Florida Folk Festival, where he personally welcomes and presents the state's best singer/ songwriters, reviews their work, gives out songwriting assignments and lots of praise.
While his accomplishments are certainly legendary, humble Frank Thomas will describe himself in one of his favorite cracker phrases: "I ain't nothin' extry."
Festival audiences better hold onto their seats and prepare to enjoy a mesmerizing and stunning performance when the award winning, multi-talented one-man-band maestro, Ben Prestage, takes the stage.
Born the grandson of a Mississippi sharecropper, Ben Prestage has been soaked in Blues tradition and Mississippi culture since birth. Growing up in the swamps of south central Florida, Prestage began to mix Mississippi Country Blues with his own brand of Florida Swamp Blues. This muddy- water- meets- black- water stew has led him to perform from California to the Carolinas to the Florida Keys, in large festivals, every kind of bar, and sometimes on downtown sidewalks.
Prestage spent some time as a street performer on historic Beale Street, while living in Memphis, TN. He used to share a spot in front of the New Daisy Theatre with modern blues legends Robert Belfour (Fat Possum Records) and Richard Johnston (2001 International Blues Competition winner). He has won numerous awards including "The Most Unique Performer" and he is the only two-time recipient of the Lyon/Pitchford Award for "Best Diddley-Bow Player." Ben is also a 2012 nominee for both the Independent Music Awards and the Blues Music Awards.
Being a street musician in the "Blues capital of the South" threw Prestage's music in a new direction. His innovative approach to instrumentation, songwriting, and singing, all painted on a traditional historic background produces a vivid picture of the next generation of Blues and Americana music.
To his show, he added a cigar box guitar (made by Memphian and one-man-band John Lowe), which has stereo guitar, and bass strings that can be played independently or at the same time. Then Ben added a series of four-foot pedals that can be manipulated by the heels and toes of both feet to play a drum kit. The final result is Ben playing guitar, bass, and drums while singing his own brand of Blues that leaves bottles empty and dance floors full where ever his music takes him.
Mark Johnson and Emory Lester
When two super players collide with impressive passion great duos are born, specifically Mark Johnson and Emory Lester. The result is cool bluegrass with overtones of traditional folk, progressive acoustic, new-grass and old-timey all mixed into one.
Mark Johnson hangs his hat in Florida but learned his trade from Jay Unger while living in New York. It was in the early 1970s, that Mark learned from this consummate fiddler the basic technique of claw hammer banjo. He also learned the three-finger style of bluegrass picking as his familiarity with the instrument unfolded. Mark moved to Crystal River in Florida in 1981 where he met the Rice brothers, Larry, Tony, Ronnie and Wyatt. Through that relationship, his manner for style and creativity was forever changed. Calling his new creation Clawgrass, Marks blends the folk and old time traditions with his energetic melodies to create something entirely his own.
Emory Lester is one of today’s foremost experts on the acoustic mandolin. The power and attack of his mandolin playing are unmatched, and his sound is infectious.
A life-long Virginia native, but currently residing in Ontario Canada, Emory has been teaching master series workshops at events such as the Steve Kaufman Acoustic Kamp, the Mandolin Symposium, the Swannanoah Gathering, the Goderich Celtic College, and many other prestigious schools and workshops far and wide. His multi-instrumental abilities and sharp playing has earned him the reputation of a master, one he well deserves.
Mark and Emory have toured all across the U.S., released four albums, and have been featured on several performances with Steve Martin, most notably on the ‘Late Night with David Letterman’ television show in September of 2012, where Mark received the third annual Steve Martin Award for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass Music. They were nominated for Instrumental Recording of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association in 2007, featured in Bluegrass Unlimited, Bluegrass Now, and on Nashville Public radio.
These days it’s hard to do something new with just an acoustic guitar, but that’s what Michael Jordan is all about. Placing the instrument flat wise across his lap, he combines alternate tunings with tapping techniques and percussion on the body of the guitar creating sounds that defy the formal approach of playing the acoustic. His use of haunting harmonics and his unique voice coupled with reflective heady lyrics build a wall of sound like no other, at times giving the aura of a full band. His songs span from blissfully beautiful to maniacal rants to catchy hooks; and whether lap style or formal positioned, all are cerebral and leave one pondering the old adage to “Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”
Jordan has always been attracted to the water; Saint Augustine Fl., his current headquarters for the past three years, is very reminiscent of his childhood home. Michael received his first guitar on his twelfth birthday in Ophelia, Virginia, where he was raised on the Chesapeake Bay, fishing and reading and tromping through the woods. These early years were very influential to the organic nature that was to become a crucial element in his music. When asked of his influences Michael says: “Early on I loved Kirk Hammett then Stevie Ray Vaughn,” (whom he keeps a picture of in his guitar to this day), “then Jimi, however I believe influences are everywhere, in the drip of the faucet or wail of the train in the distance. These natural soundscapes are what surrounded me and moved me when I was young and continue to be my largest source of inspiration.”
So grab a seat festival goers and prepare to be awed by technique so unique you’ll be left pondering the true creativity Jordan wishes to share with the world.
Florida Folk Heritage Award Winner Jeanie Fitchen has been a mainstay at the Florida Folk Festival since she was a very young girl. Longtime festival-goers will always remember the high sweet voice and long brown hair of the slender young child from Merritt Island in the 1960s.
Fitchen’s large catalogue of Florida music includes strong interpretations of songs written by the very icons of the Florida folk genre – artists like Will McLean, Don Grooms, Jim Ballew and Chief Jim Billie. In addition to her popular musical shows, Fitchen enjoys public school appearances, where she presents programs about Florida Folk music, culture and history. Her songs tell wide-eyed children about manatees, alligators, apple snails and mosquitoes while other songs tell stories about Ponce De Leon, pirates, Seminole Indians and Acre Foot Johnson, Florida’s earliest mailman.
When asked why people should care about folk music, Fitchen says, “I think it allows people to reflect, and sometimes it compels people to make changes in their life or world around them. There will never be another form of music like this.” And there will never be another Jeanie Fitchen, a truly unique performer devoted to Florida Folk music steeped in the tradition of past folk icons and Florida’s diverse cultural history.
St. Augustine’s Sam Pacetti astonishes devoted fans and newcomers alike with his dazzling command of the steel string guitar. Pacetti learned flamenco style guitar at the knee of his Cuban grandfather, pursued classical guitar studies in his early teens, and became the protégé of Florida’s song and storytelling Travis-style guitar master Gamble Rogers.
Pacetti's first CD, Solitary Travel, was released nearly ten years ago, when he was 22. It got airplay on National Public Radio and Pacetti was voted “Best New Artist” at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. In 2006, Pacetti recorded, Union with long-time friend and guitar virtuoso Gabriel Valla. This recording reflects a journey, through loss and rapture and love too fragile to survive, all passionately embraced. Somewhere along the line, Pacetti became an extraordinary interpreter of other writers' material. Needless to say, Union is beautiful, and musical partner Valla presents guitar parts that are more in support of the songs than as a showpiece of their prodigious instrumental skills.
Pacetti's playing stands out for its spiritual depth and emotional intensity. Festival audiences are sure to be mesmerized and entranced by the fluid melodic styles given with ease and grace from a true master of the guitar. Be prepared for a splendid awe inspiring musical journey!
Belle and The Band
Born in the red clay hills of Tallahassee, Belle and The Band offers a sweet, new acoustic sound, mixed with Bluegrass, Folk, Blues, and Jazz. The current installment of Belle and The Band presents Kathryn Belle Long on guitar and lead vocals. Also featured in The Band are some of Tallahassee’s most recognized acoustic musicians: local acoustic bass icon Mike Snelling, flatpicking guitar master Kevin Robertson, and Florida mandolin maestro Mickey Abraham. With such an experienced and talented line-up, this group will please both vocally and instrumentally. Their hip acoustic vibe is insightful, calming, and easy to digest.
SPECIAL GUEST APPEARANCE
Winter Haven native; Jim Stafford is a comedian, singer, songwriter, and entertainer extraordinaire. He wrote and recorded his first chart making song, “The Swamp Witch”, produced by his boyhood friend Kent LaVoie a.k.a Lobo in 1974. He followed with a gold single, “Spiders and Snakes”, which stayed on the American pop charts for 26 weeks. The hits just kept coming and included “My Girl Bill”, “Wildwood Weed”, and the wonderfully satirical “Cow Patti”, written for the Clint Eastwood movie, Any Which Way You Can, in which Jim appeared.
For over 20 years the Jim Stafford show is always named a favorite by audiences and critics alike. The singer, songwriter, comic genius, and entertainer extraordinaire is self-taught on guitar, fiddle, piano, banjo, organ, harmonica and the human brain--he might bring any of them into play at any moment. 417 Magazine, the Springfield News Leader and the Branson Entertainment Awards have voted Jim Best Entertainer, Best Personality and Best Comedy Show. Mayflower Tours has named Jim’s Show as one of their top ten suppliers in North America. Jim wrote many of the songs for which he is famous and has brought his inimitable style to several movie soundtracks. He received a gold record for his work in the Disney movie The Fox and The Hound and writes for many other popular artists.
Jim launched his television career with The Jim Stafford Show on ABC in 1975. His numerous television appearances included music specials, variety shows, and talk shows. He co-hosted the popular prime-time show Those Amazing Animals with Burgess Meredith and Pricilla Presley. Jim also hosted 56 episodes of Nashville on the Road and made 26 appearances on the Tonight Show. In 1987 & 1988, Jim was a regular performer and head write/producer for the Emmy-nominated Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.
Jim’s first love has always been live performance. During his show Jim combines hysterical comedy with masterful performances on the classical guitar as well as with heart-warming stories of the human spirit. Critically acclaimed as the “Victor Borge of the Guitar”, Jim creates hilarious antics from everyday life taking laughter to a new art form. He’ll share his secrets for creating stage presence.
These Star Performers
Will Entertain You
Along the banks of the historic Suwannee River in White Springs, Florida folk artists have gathered since 1953 for Florida's most prestigious cultural event. The 62nd Annual Florida Folk Festival on May 23, 24 and 25, 2014 at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park is one of the oldest and most revered state folk festivals in America.
Complete participant schedules for 2014 will be posted prior to the festival.
Traditional Crafts are practiced or sustained in a family or community and serve a purpose within that family or community. Unlike "art for art's sake" or craft that is learned through formal instruction, traditional craft is pursued for the sake of one's occupation or faith, by social custom, or in the conduct of daily life. Michael Berg learned to make working decoys, intended to float on water and to lure real ducks into the hunter's lair. All of the traditional craftsmen listed below are demonstrating their craft's materials and techniques during the Florida Folk Festival. All learned their skills from their families or communities and continue the tradition as a way of honoring their heritage. Exploring their personal stories is a great way to learn more about the history and culture of Florida. Visit them throughout the Festival grounds or in the Traditional Crafts Demonstration Tent at the top of the hill at the Amphitheater Stage.
Michael Berg makes hand-carved working duck decoys
Margaret Horvath is a master at making Hungarian embroidery and needlework and an expert on regional designs and history. Margaret will be demonstrating in the Folklife Area.
Lita Swindle demonstrates hand weaving and spinning
Nancy Traver demonstrate hand knitting, lace tatting and hand woven items
Willie the Losen, located in the new Florida Remembered demonstration area demonstrates pioneer crafts such as split rail fence making, shingle making, hewing logs to construct a log cabin and palm frond weaving for making baskets and other items.
At the Luthiers Exhibit you'll meet some of the state's makers of handcrafted stringed instruments who use both raw materials and commercially available supplies to construct one-of-a-kind guitars, banjos, dulcimers and other musical instruments.
Gary Hopkins makes handcrafted guitars.
Ken Miller makes high quality, hand-crafted musical instruments - guitar, mandolin, ukele, Hawaiian guitars.
Chuck Willer makes handcrafted guitars, mandolins and other mandolin family instruments of solid wood construction and bindings with mother of pearl and abalone inlays.
Old Marble Crafts!
Amphitheater and Old Marble Crafts showcase the great variety of Florida's artists and natural resources. Inspired or handed down by traditional ways of the past, or styled with the designs of studio art, Florida's craftsmen pursue the creative expression of their history and culture. Handcrafted furniture, detailed reproductions of Native American shell carvings, rich Hungarian embroidery, and handmade musical instruments are sold alongside fine jewelry, functional studio pottery, handwoven apparel, and home made jams and jellies. Craftsmen demonstrate their skills throughout the craft areas, so take a leisurely stroll and visit with the artists whose work helps to support the Florida Folk Festival. All craft vendors contribute a percentage of their sales to the Festival. When you patronize these artists you are supporting both the creativity of Florida crafts and the continuation of the Florida Folk Festival!
Patricia Albala, The Butterfly Lady, hand painted wooden butterflies and fractal paper art
Catherine Akins, NoFlaGo: hand decorated gourds including lidded gourds, hanging gourd, purses, incense burners, and shelf décor
Bob Andrews of A.C.L. Leather: handbags with native skin inlays - gator, stingray, snake - hand sewn briefcase with calf skin inlays, backpack made of native deerskin, deer skin waist pack, western style vest, leather boxes
Kathryn Basham, Medicine Song Crafts: Fiber arts – macramé, weaving, crochet, knitting, sewing, and baskets
Susan Bishop, My Mother’s Garden, inc: certified organic culinary herb plants and Florida native plants in varying sizes; also providing information for cultivation in all areas of Florida.
Brian & Jan Blackmore, Rainbow Designs: handcrafted jewelry from precious metals, semi-precious stones, pearls and crystals.
Terry Bodeker, T.C. Bodeker Expressions: original designed and handcrafted cast silver art jewelry with nature and wildlife themes, especially Florida sea life.
Matthew Brabham, Our Pottery: wheel thrown funcational pottery with sculptural decorations of small animals, mostly lizards and frogs.
Rachel Brown, Roses Botanicals: handmade soaps, lotions, creams and body butters. One of a kind handmade stoneware pottery dishes, festival pieces to compliment handmade soaps.
Tom Brown, Ozello Islands Products: Pepper sauces, pepper glazes and pepper jelly.
Julia Bull: hand-dyed tapestries of various sizes to be used for wall hangings, sheets, blankets, spreads, etc.
Alice Cappa of Weaves by Cappa: hand woven wearables and accessories in natural fibers. Spinning demonstration using raw wool.
Bharati Chaudhuri, Creative Studio: traditional Henna painting, pottery with ethnic designs, note cards, scarves and body art.
Ronald Curtis, Curtis Creations: handcrafted bamboo furniture, home décor items, gift items, bamboo jewelry and walking sticks.
Ibiyemi Efuntosin, Ibiyemi's Afrikan Arts & Crafts: Afrikan styled handmade arts and crafts items: Musical instruments; Shakeray - beaded hand drums; Owari – African chess; dolls, wallets, handbags, scarves, jewelry. Afrikan Attire – Shokoto (pants), Buba (shirt) , Lapa (skirt ) and Gele (head tie).
Antonio Falla, Antonio Designs: handmade jewelry with silver and semi-precious stone.
Bruce Gootner of Cigar Box Music: unique and numbered cigar box guitars and cigar box amplifiers made from recycled cigar boxes. Each piece is unique and meant to be displayed as art when not played.
Marty Haythorn, Ancient Hands: recreations of Southeastern Woodland and Mississippian (300-1450 A.D.) Native American pottery and contemporary revival pottery in the tradition of Florida and Native American art.
Harriet Heywood of EarthWares: retro-styled handmade aprons, clothing, hats and accessories.
Margaret Horvath, Hungarian Folk Art: traditional Hungarian embroidery and needlework applied to tablecloths, blouses, dolls, doilies, straw crafts and more.
Thomas Honey: Honey, beeswax, beeswax candles, beeswax products
Michael Howland: Land & Sea Original Acrylics: paintings
Gene Jaeger, Unicorn Strings Music Company: bowed psalteries, music books, recordings, instrument cases.
Ken King, Ken’s Pick Sticks: pick sticks (a three stringed, wooden instrument that is fretted like a dulcimer, but strummed like a guitar) and gig bags.
Eric Larson of Winter Park Soap handmade organic skin care products: soaps, lotions, lip balm, scrubs and much more
Ernest Lee, EM Lee Gallery: paintings and prints of country living
Tom Levine of Defiant Worm Books is a Florida writer with two books – “Paradise Interrupted” celebrating natural Florida and “Bite Me!” a collection of his best fishing stories.
Katelyn Lynch demonstrates Yoga and conducts Yoga workshops throughout the day adjacent to the Environmental and Cultural Heritage Awareness Exhibits near the Tower.
Mary & Mom, apprentices of longtime festival tie-dye artist Mark Wright, have Tie-dye arts, including t-shirts, dresses, socks, shoelaces and hats
Anton Martinez, Native Ring: deer bone, deer skin necklaces, bracelets, and various crafts hand made out of deer eye/deer hide; antler pipes, dream catchers and silver pieces.
Ethel McDonald, Marie's Home Canning: home canning: jams, jellies, pickles, relishes; handwoven jelly baskets; hand-knitted dish cloths; handmade aprons
Rusty Miller, Rusty Miller Stoneware: studio pottery in functional forms, including dishes, mugs, bowls, pitchers and platters.
Janet Moses, Janet Moses & Co.: paints a variety of primitive motifs on old windows, doors, tin and other found items, with designs that feature plants, chickens, sheep, cows, birds, fish, and local landscapes.
Greg Nason, Earthwares: scroll work made on a foot-powered antique scroll saw of pictures, shelves, military insignias, bookmarks, boxes, puzzles, bowls and clocks.
Christina Raymond: massage or assisted active isolated stretching offered for a fee to help release tight muscles, improve posture and help- relieve chronic neck and low back pain
Ben Rogers of Tinker’s Forge demonstrates blacksmithing and sells hand-forged items.
Michael Ryan of Seashell Music: musical seashells created by drilling pitch holes to resonate the air inside spiral and bi-valve seashells.
Robin Sapp of Peace of Glass: stained glass panels, sun catchers, bugs, and pendants influenced by Florida nature.
Ruby Shaw has homemade peanut brittle. A festival tradition for 62 years!
Lita Swindle & Eva Clayton, Clayton & Swindle: demonstrate the spinning and the making of rag rugs using a rigid heddle loom. Demonstrations and sale of rag rugs, cloth and fiber items, handmade looms and belt looms, spinning wheels and drop spindles.
George Tortorelli Medicine Wind Music has handmade, fine-tuned bamboo flutes and bird whistles made from sustainably harvested, home-grown bamboo. All bamboo planted and harvested in Gainesville, FL; original bamboo flute and Celtic harp recordings.
Nancy Traver demonstrates indigo dye spinning, and knitting has hand knitted items, tatted lace and hand wovens
You Won't Believe What
These Talented Artisans Can Do
You've seen the products of extremely skilled artisans, but you may not know how they get from raw material to finished goods. Here in the Craft Square Area, you'll get a close-up look at the processes. The Stephen Foster Craft Square is located a short walk from the Carillon Tower. Located in the Craft Square are 5 cabins that serve as demonstration areas for Florida artists as well as visiting artists from all over the country. Over the weekend Florida artists will be working throughout the Craft Square demonstrating various Traditional & Contemporary arts. Pottery, Woodworking, Stained Glass, Fiber Arts, and Blacksmithing are just a few of the arts that can be seen. All of these artists welcome visitor interaction and most sell their finished items. Many of them can be found at the park on a regular basis. Call the Craft Square at 386-397-1920 for a schedule of daily demonstrations throughout the entire year.
Michael Barclay demonstrate leather working.
Mike Batusic demonstrate wood turning.
Julie Batusic demonstrates pine needle weaving.
Bettye Borman demonstrates crocheting and knitting.
Jay Borman demonstrates counted cross stitch.
Iris Burke demonstrates pottery.
Helen Cribbs demonstrates how to make yo-yo’s for quilting and pillow making.
Lisa Donley demonstrates rug making and lye soap making.
Walter Donley demonstrates blacksmithing techniques.
Lei Lani Davis demonstrates Pysanka egg making and herb growing.
Gene Fourakre makes grits, cornmeal, handcrafted wood items, small handmade boxes and more.
Rosalee Fourakre has hand crocheted and knitted items.
Mary R. Fridman and Erinn Koch demonstrate spinning and weaving.
Aubrey Graves demonstrates whittling.
Diane Hornby and Paul Hornby of Green Lizard Pottery create pottery.
Sherryl Huseonica of Calligraphy By Sheryl demonstrates and creates unique calligraphy and also has original pottery.
Victoria Kerkela demonstrates jewelry making.
John Lacefield of Lacefield Farms demonstrates blacksmithing techniques and creates items such as wall hooks and nails.
Roberta Lacefield demonstrates rug making.
Marie Longo demonstrates quilting.
Arlette Love demonstrates crocheting and knitting
Jim Love of Armadillo Leather creates handcrafted leather belts, keyrings, vests and other items.
Sherry Miller demonstrates pottery.
Carol Plante demonstrates jewelry making.
Linda Schenavar makes handmade magnetic beaded jewelry using semi-precious stone beads and Magnetite beads, crystals and metallic beads as well as demonstrating wire sculptured jewelry.
Gerald and Mary Schramer demonstrate making sun catchers
Bobbie Valentine demonstrate pine needle weaving.
John Williams makes harps, dulcimers and bowed psalteries.
Carmen Yeomans demonstrates painting and face painting for kids.
More Than a Demonstration;
An Invitation to Participate
Workshops at the Florida Folk Festival provide an opportunity to learn a few basic skills, notes or steps, and then a chance to join with others in enjoying a new experience. Select your favorite activity and have a great time. Schedules for workshops at the 2014 festival will be posted prior to the festival.
You will find dance represented through performances, workshops, and as a purely recreational activity each evening under the stars.
In Florida, dance traditions reflect the vibrancy and diversity of our people. Most Floridians share social dances during the course of their daily lives, while many others participate in dance events or dance groups that specialize in a particular style.
We will present the dances practiced by Floridians from many cultural backgrounds through demonstrations which will take place on stages throughout the Festival. Many workshops and dance parties will invite visitors to learn a few steps and enjoy the experience of participating in a new dance activity. A complete schedule of dances planned for the 2014 festival will be posted prior to the festival.
FLORIDA'S FAVORITE MENUS
Florida's cooks have created unique flavors using the ingredients at hand and the traditions their families brought when they first came to the state. At the Florida Folk Festival, there's everything from homemade beef jerky to Caribbean-influenced dishes of chicken pilau, hoppin' john, black-eyed peas, and okra and tomatoes. More recent immigrant communities have brought their culinary tastes for warm curries and fragrant rices from Trinidad, and light pastries and seasoned lamb from Greece. Florida's coastal waters offer fresh crab, shrimp and oysters, and its farmers raise fresh strawberries, melons and citrus.
During the Folk Festival you can enjoy collard greens and cornbread or a fine plate of fried chicken from the churches cooking at the Old Marble Stage food shelter. At the Amphitheater food court, there's everything from barbecue and gumbo to lime fizzes and vegetarian fare. From breakfast until the midnight snack, there's plenty of good food at the Florida Folk Festival. The vendors scheduled for this year include:
Old Marble Stage Foods
Beulah Baptist Church: chicken and dumplings dinner, chicken pilau dinner, vegetable plate, green beans, collard greens, squash, pickeled beets, cornbread, hoppin' john, tea, lemonade, water
New Bethel AME YPD: hot wings with fries combo; sausage n onions with fries, pound cake, chocolate pound cake, red velvet cake, water, soft drinks; breakfast - bacon, eggs, sausage toast
Sisters Welcome Baptist Church: lima beans & rice, homemade chili & rice, macaroni & cheese, chittlins & rice, beef tips & gravy, cajun beans, Italian Chicken, pies, cookies, brownies, water, soda, orange juice, fruit punch; breakfast: Build a bowl breakfast (bacon or sausage, grits, eggs & cheese), flap jacks, omelettes
Sweet Home Baptist Church: fried chicken dinner, vegetable plate, shrimp creole with rice, side items - chicken, greens, okra, potatoes, squash, peas, carrots, beets, tomatoes, rice; rice krispie treats, pickles, brownies, cornbread
Amphitheater Stage Foods
AnnLee Concessions: root beer floats, orange drink, pink lemonade, floats, bottled water
Berrylicious: strawberry shortcake, chocolate strawberry shortcake, strawberry cheescake, brownie sundae, chocolate dipped strawberries on a stick, chocolate dipped banana with strawberry, strawberry milkshakes, strawberry sundaes, strawberry ice cream cones, strawberry tea, strawberry lemonade
Chubby Boys Roasters: grilled cheese, fresh roasted corn on the cob, corn in a cup, loaded baked potato, loaded sweet potato, hamburgers and cheeseburgers with chips, gourmet hot dogs, chili dogs, slaw dogs with chips, boiled peanuts, frozen slushy drink, iced tea, sodas, water, nachos, pulled pork nachos; grilled wings; grilled pretzels; grilled chocolate panini
Coffee Shack/Guillery's Shaved Ice: shaved ice, coffee, expresso, cappuccino, hot chocolate, chai tea, coffee shakes, chocolate shock, ice coffee, hot herbal teas, muffins, after shock
Greek Flame Food: lamb gyro on pita, Greek salad, chicken gyro on pita, combo platter, soft drinks, water
Harry's Fresh Squeezed Juices: fresh squeezed lemonade, orange juice, lime fizz
Island Café: jerk chicken, jerk pork, curried chicken curried coat, island stir fry vegetable - meals served with rice & peas, wraps; Café salad or steamed cabbage and fried plantains Jamaican patties, island hoagies, island hoppin' fries Jamaican D&G bottled sodas; coconut water; sodas; bottled water; bottled Ting; Gatorade
Mike’s Beef Jerky: kettle corn, pork skins, beef jerky, caramel apple wedges, boiled peanuts, water and canned sodas
Phil's Grill: smoked pork burrito and sandwich, garlic herb chicken, prime rib or beef, spinach artichoke, falafel in burrito, blue crab fritters, Baja shrimp, rice pilaf, iced tea
Sunshine Café & Catering, Inc: pizza, bbq chicken on a stick, fries, curly fries, jumbo turkey legs, bbq pork, bbq beef platter, bbq pork, bbq beef sandwich, sides - brown rice, grilled veggies, potatoes, black eyed peas, red beans; fried veggies, fried green tomatos; Texas toast sandwich, breakfast burrito,bagel sandwich, iced tea, sodas
Sweet Treats: funnel cakes, elephant ears, Belgian waffles, malts and shakes, sundaes, fried oreos, fried twinkies, fried candy bars, cotton candy, hard ice cream cones and cups
Wolverine Concessions: catfish, frog legs, fish tacos, bourbon chicken, chicken tenders, seafood po' boys, fish and chips, ribbon fries, sides (peas, veggies, rice, fried okra), soda, bottled water, iced tea
East Food Area (between Old Marble and Amphitheater Stages)
Old Fashion Ice Cream: ice cream bowls, cups, cones, IBC root beer floats, cobblers with ice cream, IBC root beer, water,
Marketplace brings the artistry of the world to the Florida Folk Festival. In some instances, the vendors are themselves both the importers and the makers of traditional crafts. They may be new settlers whose booths help to support traditional artists in Guatemala or importers of exquisite beads from around the world. Whether as book and music publishers or the makers of instruments, Marketplace vendors keep the natural and cultural history of Florida alive, and showcase the state's cultural connections with the world.
Arte Mexico has regional arts and crafts from Mexico, including Taxco silver, Talavera ceramics, tins and tile, Oaxacan carved and painted wooden animals, black pottery, carved wooden masks, Amate paper drawings, jewelry, paper mache, and cotton hammocks.
Brandi Breslin offers custom buttons, magnets and tins personalized on site.
Floridana Stuff Co. sells used books, used sheet music and related items mostly about music,
Music Junction has stringed instruments, music accessories and stringed instrument repairs.
Terre Beasley, Scarlet Fire Glass Beads: handmade glass beads, antique beads, beads and fossils from around the world, jewelry for kids, and other jewelry.
VioStrap sells a patented violin and viola strap which is designed to assist in holding your instrument to offer you more control and comfort. VioStrap is introducing brand new products - The Hook & The Loop for other instruments such as ukulele, mandolin
Sharing Florida's Traditional Culture
Every year the Department of State's Florida Folklife Program researches a special topic on Florida's traditional heritage. The Festival's 2014 Folklife area features presentations and demonstrations celebrating the diverse cultural traditions in the Upper St. Johns River Basin.
The St. Johns River is the longest river in Florida and one of the most culturally and economically influential inland bodies of water in the state. This blackwater stream, gently flowing and darkly stained with tannic acid, winds its way north from Vero Beach to Jacksonville shaping its landscape and its people. Historically, the St. Johns has served as the primary means of transportation for people and goods supporting settlement and industry. As the lifeblood of the region, the river has provided fertile farmland for agricultural pursuits and deposited nutrient-rich pasture for cattle, formed pristine ecosystems capable of supporting ancient cypress and pine forests, facilitated the convergence of cultures along its banks, and created a unique backdrop from which traditional culture emerges.
When European explorers arrived on the East coast of Florida in the 16th century, they encountered the Timacuan people who referred to the river as Welaka, meaning “River of Lakes.” Today, the upper St. Johns is characterized by a dizzying maze of lakes, canals, and marshland. The headwaters begin as a series of marshes in Indian River County that become navigable in Brevard County, and continue as a string of interconnected lakes in Seminole and Volusia Counties. Amid the palmettos and blackgum trees that shade the cypress swamps and the saw grass that spreads across the hammocks, the people of the upper St. Johns River basin have carved out a life for themselves that is as colorful as the environment that surrounds them.
Agriculture and Foodways
The fertile land and abundant resources along the river have encouraged the migration of many different cultures to the region. Swedish and Slovakian yeoman farmers were enticed by the citrus boom of the 1800s, until “The Great Freeze” of 1895 virtually put an end to the industry north of Apopka. Surrounded by marshes and low-lying hammocks, many farmers began growing celery, leading Oviedo to proclaim itself the “Celery Capital of the World.” Throughout the early 1900s, African Americans fled the dusty cotton fields of the southeast to work in the citrus groves and turpentine camps of Florida. Jamaican, Bahamian and Haitian laborers came to the state in the 1950s to cut sugar cane or harvest vegetables, and Hispanic migrant workers soon followed.
Throughout the upper St. Johns River basin, these new communities have developed creative ways to maintain or adapt their cultural traditions to a new American context. Many people teach ethnic music and dance, host celebrations, and share a wide range of foodways and traditions. In 1989, Reina Zelaya reluctantly left her home in Honduras to avoid political unrest and provide a better life for her young children. Reina and her El Salvadorian husband Miguel both speak proudly and passionately about their respective cultures and will be demonstrating how to make some of their favorite dishes on the Folklife Area stage.
While Reina highlights the importance of maintaining cultural identity through food, the Folklife Area will also feature a panel called Feeding America: Farmworkers and the Lake Apopka Memorial Quilt Project. On this panel Jeannie Economos of the Florida Farmworker Association and advocate Selena Zelaya will discuss the important role of farmworkers, the impact of muck farming, and the Lake Apopka Memorial Quilt project, which empowered the African American community to create a quilt in honor of the farmworkers that dedicated their lives to feeding America. Former farmworkers Linda Lee and Blanca Moreno will join them to share their experiences working in the muck.
Logging and Woodworking
The region’s virgin pine and cypress forests attracted the logging industry in the late 1800s. Logging camps quickly sprang up along the river, where the waterway was used to transport timber downstream to the sawmill. Many of these massive trees never made it to their destination, having sunk to the bottom of the St. Johns where they remained for over 100 years, perfectly preserved by the cool water and the lack of oxygen. Now, this sunken timber is highly regarded among woodworkers and craftsman for its beauty and durability, a discovery that has led to a shift in the logging industry and a distinctive trend in folk and traditional arts across the region. Former loggers, milling experts, and artists like Jeanie Beline, Bob and Tim Hughes, Ted Page, Don Reynolds, and Mark Rice have started specializing in rescued timber and now work almost exclusively with native Florida hardwoods from yard trees to heart pine, lighter wood to sunken river cypress to make unique and utilitarian works of art that speak volumes about regional history.
This group of talented artists will gather on a panel called The Senator Project: Working with Rescued Timber to discuss their respective trades and involvement in the reincarnation of the Senator, one of the world’s largest and oldest pond cypress trees that burned down in 2012. The artists will also demonstrate their unique styles and have pieces on display all weekend. Make sure to come see Mark Rice who will be doing an exciting chainsaw carving demonstration adjacent to the Folklife Area each day.
Fishing and Tourism
The upper St. Johns River basin has long been considered a sub-tropical paradise, drawing the likes of explorers and adventurers throughout history and well into the 21st century. In 1774, naturalist William Bartram traveled to the region for the first time and described with great detail its rich biodiversity and bountiful resources. As he explored the St. Johns River, he noted the variety and abundance of wildlife and wrote eloquent accounts of undocumented flora and fauna, large game fish, majestic cypress trees, and floating islands along the river. These published accounts popularized the settlement of the region and, more recently, have served as a driving force behind the modern eco-heritage tourism trend.
Today, with its braided canals and maze-like marshes, the headwaters of the St. Johns are considered some of the finest sport fishing waters in the state and are particularly well known for the prevalence of largemouth bass. Drawing on his intimate knowledge of the river, fly-fisherman, innovator, and instructor Jon Cave leads guided expeditions through this complicated arrangement of waterways, providing eager fisherman with technical assistance as well as the cultural, historical, and biological context that colors the region. Jon will be offering fly-fishing and fly-tying demonstrations at the Folklife Area and will have on display historically accurate fishing equipment including flies that might have been used by William Bartram’s crew during their travels down the St. Johns River.
Music and Dance
The music and dance traditions of the upper St. Johns River region are shaped by the natural and cultural environment. Maurice Fields grew up not far from Monroe Harbor on 13th Street in Sanford. At the turn of the century, this was the heart of Goldsboro, the second African American town to be incorporated in the state of Florida. By 1911, Goldsboro had been absorbed by Sanford. Still a tight-knit community today, Maurice fondly recalls growing up in the vibrant Goldsboro business district where local African Americans owned department stores, pharmacies, barber shops, and night clubs. As a child, he would lay awake at night listening to the sweet sounds of the blues radiating from local establishments like the Dew Duck Inn and Pearly May Brown’s. Growing up in the shadows of the 13th Street juke joints and pool halls, and in the light of the Baptist and Pentecostal churches, it’s no surprise that Fields learned to play percussion and harmonica and went on to dedicate his life to the perpetuation of African American sacred and secular music.
Maurice Fields and his blues band, Cats in the House, will pay homage to those early influences in Goldsboro on the Folklife Area stage and will be available throughout the weekend to answer questions about historic Goldsboro and the Sanford music scene.
Like Maurice Fields, Faye Henderson grew up deeply entrenched in the vibrant regional music scene of the upper St. Johns River basin. As a young girl, she traveled with her mother who played piano for several local churches each Sunday. She recalls feeling compelled to sing along with her mother’s melodies before she was even old enough to interpret the lyrics. Throughout her life, sacred music has served as a creative outlet and guiding light. Eventually, with the help of her family and friends, she founded Faye Henderson and Gospel Praise, which she describes as a “gospel blues, gospel jazz instrumental and vocal band with soul searching lyrics.” Faye Henderson and Gospel Praise will perform their brand of praise-based, gospel fusion this weekend, highlighting their early sacred and secular experiences.
Also performing on the Folklife Area stage is Sandra Rincon’s Mexican folk dance group, Rincones de Mexico. Rincon and her family immigrated to Palm Bay in 2001. Negotiating life in a new country was difficult, but she eventually tapped into the local Hispanic community and realized that there was interest in starting a dance group. She had always loved the regional folk dances of her home in southwestern Mexico, so in 2012, she founded Rincones de Mexico, a group dedicated to the accurate representation of Mexican culture and regional identity through dance. They now perform for various charities and events throughout the region and will be representing several regional dances this weekend.
Since 1984, the Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program has provided support for master artist-apprentice teams to pass on traditional folk arts and culture. This year’s five teams will share their art forms in the Folklife Area. Winner of the 2012 Steve Martin Award for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass Music, Mark Johnson (Dunnellon) and apprentice Sergi Boyakjon (North Miami Beach) will perform Clawgrass style banjo; Miami based team Marisol Blanco and apprentices Sandra Barros, Deglys Pena, Carlos Ramirez, and Carolina Guitierrez will perform Afro-Cuban dance; George Altman (Wauchula) and apprentice Cameron Cato (Summerfield) will be demonstrating how to make buckskin whips; Louinès Louinis (Pembroke Pines) and apprentice Karine Moron (Miramar) will demonstrate Haitian drumming; and 2005 Florida Folk Heritage Award winner Michael Kernahan (Cutler Bay) and apprentices Fitzroy Alleyne (Miramar) and Sheila DeToro-Forlenza (Miami Beach) will demonstrate the playing and making of steel pan drums. For more information on the Apprenticeship Program, visit www.flheritage.com/preservation/folklife/apprenticeship, or call 1-800-847-7278.
The Seminole Camp
Keeping Seminole Heritage
You'll be greeted at the new Seminole Family Camp with a traditional Che-han-tah-mo? (How are you?) and a welcome to the Ee-toh-lit-kee (Seminole Family Camp) and the Cheekee-chobee (Big Chickee) Performance Stage. Thank you to the Seminole Tribe of Florida for their generous contribution to construct a much larger Seminole Family Camp now located near the Craft Square.
In 1771, John Stuart, an agent of the British Government, was the first to use the term in writing, when he referred to the Creeks of East Florida as Seminoles. Soon, the name was used to indicate all of Florida's Native American people.
Today, an estimated 2,700 Seminole and Miccosukee people live in Florida. The Seminole Tribe of Florida has about 2,200 members, and the Miccosukee Tribe of Florida Indians has about 500 members. Some still build chickees and wear patchwork clothing derived from traditional styles.
At the Florida Folk Festival, you"ll see wonderful examples of traditional Seminole crafts, including:
Patchwork Sewing. The women artisans of the Seminole, like Nancy Shore, adapt textile arts to suit traditional functions and changing needs. Patchwork is the process of sewing pieces of cloth into rows of designs, joined to make garments. Seminole women use the sewing machine to evoke fire, rain or storm in traditional patterns.
Beadwork. Contemporary Seminole beadwork necklaces, belts and sashes use nylon thread, an odd (never even) number of beads and a ten-inch loom. Lorene Gopher will explain why.
Dollmaking. Beulah Gopher will demonstrate the Seminoles unique dollmaking tradition. The dolls are made of palmetto fibers, hand sewn to create the head and body, and dressed in traditional Seminole costumes.
Basketry. Seminole basketry, as it exists today, features old and new traditions, the use of native materials and the influence of other cultural groups. Jennie Shore will demonstrate the two distinct types of basketry–coiled and twilled. Seminoles make coiled baskets for the tourist trade from sweetgrass, which grows in open palmetto-covered fields. Artisans coil the bundles of grass and sew them together with embroidery thread. The bottom of the basket is usually made of palmetto fiber. Twilled baskets were once made of cane but are now made using split palmetto stems, a more readily available material. Palmetto-stem baskets, now almost obsolete, are used in pounding corn to separate meal from hard kernels.
Traditional Seminole Foods. Food sources in Seminole folklore include game meat such as deer, turtle and fish, and vegetables such as corn, beans, sweet potatoes and squash. Of these, corn is the most meaningful and frequently used. One product is sofkee, a cold beverage made of corn by combining hominy meal (hulled corn) with boiling water then allowing the drink to cool. In Seminole frybread, a batter mixture is fried in hot grease in a flat-bottomed pot over an open fire. Join Mollie Jolly and Charlotte Burgess for cooking demonstrations.
Each year the Florida Folk Festival sets aside an area for youngsters to experience Florida heritage, culture, music and crafts through a variety of activities.
The Florida Folk Festival along with the Florida Banjo Society will host an old-time banjo contest again this year. The competition will be judged by a talented slate of judges. The contest is open to old-time banjo playing styles. Old-time banjo in this context refers to styles pre-dating bluegrass and excludes four string banjo styles. Registration begins Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Under the Oaks Stage which is the venue for the contest. Contestants must hold a valid festival pass and pay a $5 registration fee. Entrants will play two tunes.
Prizes to be announced.
Florida State Fiddle Contest
Work Your Bow And Step Into Stardom
Fiddlers of all ages are invited to enter the official Florida State Fiddle Contest. The contest will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Heritage Stage near the Foster Carillon Tower on Saturday. The awards ceremony will take place Saturday night on the Amphitheater Stage.
The contest is sponsored by the Florida State Fiddlers Association (FSFA) in cooperation with the Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Recreation and Parks. The contest has five categories (in the order that they appear): Junior (up to 12 years old), Youth (13 to 19 years old), Contemporary, Twin and Rustic. Contestants may enter one individual category and the twin fiddle competition if they wish. Contestants may have no more than two back-up musicians. Fiddles, drums and electric instruments may not be used as backup instruments.
To enter the contest, fiddlers who have not preregistered must sign up at the Heritage and Dance Stage beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday. Entry fees are $10 per division for FSFA members and nonmembers. The Florida State Fiddlers Association is a group of musicians and enthusiasts dedicated to perpetuating the art of fiddling by demonstrating fiddling styles and documenting fiddling traditions of the state. Their intention is to entertain and educate with traditional fiddling. The organization has hosted an annual convention since 1981.
In 1990, the Florida Legislature designated this annual competition the official state fiddle contest. Everyone who enjoys good fiddling is invited to attend the contest and experience Florida's varied fiddle music tradition.
Environmental and Cultural
Heritage Awareness Exhibitors
Visit the Environmental and Cultural Awareness Exhibits to discover the people and organizations devoted to conserving Florida's cultural heritage and natural resources, from endangered species and vital rivers, to artists, educators and historical sites.
Edible Plant Project is a volunteer nonprofit organization dedicated to the propagation and distribution of plants with edible properties that are native to north and central Florida. Sales of fruit trees, seeds and other food-producing plants that are appropriate for North-Central Florida.
Florida Banjo Society is dedicated to the preservation and teaching of the Old Time Banjo styles that were popular prior to the early part of the 20th Century. The Banjo Society annual hosts the Old-Time Banjo Contest and seeks contestants that honor and preserve this part of our culture and perform it publicly. Located near the Under the Oaks Stage Sunday afternoon during the Banjo Contest.
Florida State Fiddle Association works to increase communication among fiddlers and other oldtime musicians in the State of Florida. They hold an annual convention and conduct the Florida State Fiddle Contest. The fiddle contest is held Saturday of the Florida Folk Festival at the Heritage and Dance Stage. Members of the Fiddle Association are happy to provide information at the Heritage & Dance Stage during the fiddle contest.
Florida Trail Association develops, maintains, promotes and protects the Florida National Scenic Trail and other hiking trails in Florida while educating the public about conservation of the natural beauty of Florida
Four Rivers Audubon Society is an environmental education group dedicated to environmental education, volunteer clean-ups and other projects, and management counseling.
Friends of Florida Folk, Inc is an advocate for all things Florida Folk. They work to identify, protect, preserve, and promote folk arts, crats, dance and music. Located in the Marketplace Area near the Heritage and Dance Stage. They have Friends of Florida Folk merchandise.
Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is dedicated to the responsible enjoyment of the outdoors. Learn about low impact, environmentally friendly techniques.
Magnolia and Sparkleberry Chapters of the Florida Native Plant Society promote conservation, preservation and restoration of Florida native plants and plant communities.
University of Florida Aquatic Pathology Lab, Healthy Gulf, Healthy Communities Project is focused on Florida seafood, its heritage, diversity, and plight after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill - information about the various seafood industries along the Florida Gulf coastline, and outcomes from seafood testing to demonstrate the current understanding of "lack of direct impact" from the oil spill. Regional watermen will share stories of their fisheries in their generation, and generations gone by. Daily seafood cooking lessons, taste tests, and cast net throwing
North Florida Folk Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping acoustic artists, their fans and venues keep up with what's going on around the First Coast.
Seminole Tribe of Florida Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum (Located at the Seminole Family Camp) Seminole and Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum inspired merchandise and books and exhbits.
Will McLean Foundation for Florida Heritage in Music presents material designed to educate about environmental protection and cultural preservation through the works of Will McLean and other Florida artists influenced by him. Located at Marketplace.