NEW GLOUCESTER – The quiet, rural Pineland Campus will soon be filled with music, art, food and activities. On May 14 and 15, Fiddlehead Center for the Arts will hold its first Fiddlehead Art & Cultural Festival, a two-day international celebration.

It starts at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 14, with opening ceremonies and a puppet workshop by Shoestring Puppet Theater, which is open to all ages. A participatory street parade begins at 5:45 p.m. At 6:30 p.m. will be a high-powered performance by Mango Blue, an Afro-Latin funk band from New York City that energizes audiences of all ages.

Saturday’s schedule includes performances flamenco dancers, master drummer Shamou and nationally recognized storyteller Antonio Rocha. The festival concludes on Saturday evening with a performance by Rumbafrica, Boston’s premier African dance band.

“This will truly be a celebration of art and culture from around the world,” said Jacinda Cotton-Castro, business director for Fiddlehead Center. “Not only will there be nonstop performances by world-class entertainers, but we will also offer many one-of-a-kind, hands-on art and music activities – not to mention the international food!”

The “Global Village” will feature international performances, education and hands-on activities representing China, Italy, West Africa, North America (Native American and folk), as well as Celtic, Acadian, Nordic and other regions.

Festival attendees can performances by dancers, puppeteers, actors and storytellers, as well as wandering acts, such as mimes, jugglers, and stilt walkers. Hands-on activities for children of all ages include clay, language, music and art. The international food court will be open Friday evening and all day Saturday with a selection of international fare and more than 25 artisans selling their wares.

“With its focus on art and music from around the world, we hope to recapture some of what is missed by the absence of the Maine Art Festival,” says Cotton-Castro. She said they anticipate a large number of people will attend.

Fiddlehead Center creates an environment where children can be directly involved in the performing, visual and creative arts, and sciences. It opened in 2002 and is at 83 Pineland Drive at the Pineland Campus.

All events and activities will be under tents and in the Fiddlehead Center for the Arts building, so the festival will be held rain or shine.

People can go online at www.fiddleheadcenter.org for discounted, two-day festival tickets (for $15, which includes special parking), as well as more information about the festival. People can also call (207) 688-2244 with questions.


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