BANGOR (AP) – After it completes a three-year run in Bangor, the National Folk Festival will be moving on next year to Richmond, Va.

The festival, which dates to 1934, is the nation’s oldest multicultural arts celebration. The three-day event remains in the host city for three years before heading elsewhere.

It begins its final run in Bangor on Aug. 27.

The “movable feast” of American heritage, produced by the National Council for the Traditional Arts in conjunction with a host city, has traveled to 27 municipalities around the country to celebrate traditional music, dance, storytelling, crafts and food.

The executive director of this year’s event, Heather McCarthy, announced Thursday that next year’s site will be the riverfront area of Brown’s Island in Richmond.

“It’s exciting to bring the festival to an area that has its own rich cultural history,” McCarthy said. She said she looks forward to helping Richmond prepare for the big event.

The festival came to the Bangor waterfront in 2002 from East Lansing, Mich.

Despite being one of the smallest cities ever to host the event, Bangor has drawn 80,000 visitors in 2002 and 110,000 visitors in 2003.

When Bangor’s final festival begins, staff members from a nonprofit performing arts provider that will be a co-sponsori of the Richmond festival will be present to help prepare for the festival’s move to their city.

Richmond’s festival will be a centerpiece of the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Jamestown colony in 1607, said Julia Olin, associate director of the National Council for the Traditional Arts, which promotes and preserves indigenous culture in the United States.

A big selling point for Richmond, she said, was the people involved.

“There’s a group of people there who are really revitalizing the city,” Olin said. “There’s a critical core of motivated people there. And that’s the kind of place we like to be.”

The Brown’s Island special-events venue is bordered by the James River on one side and canals on the other.

“It’s a very nice site with a lot of potential,” Olin said.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.