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National Folk Festival could draw thousands to region

By Paige Mallory Passman, Staff Writer

(Sept. 6, 2018) The National Folk Festival will take place Friday through Sunday in downtown Salisbury, featuring over 350 of the nation’s top traditional musicians, dancers, craftspeople, regional and ethnic cuisines and craft brews, storytelling and parades.

This is the first time the event, one of America’s largest, most prestigious and longest-running celebrations of arts, culture and heritage, will be held in Salisbury.

“We actually competed against 33 other cities to host the festival and we beat them all out,” Chris Demone, Salisbury public information officer, said. “Host cities in the past for the festival included places like Greensboro, North Carolina, and Bangor, Maine, who are very large compared to us.”

The fact that Salisbury won the bid was something special for the town, Demone said.

The economic impact of the festival will be huge, Demone added.

“Local restaurants and local craft breweries will be selling their beer at the festival,” Demone said. “Beyond that, looking at the restaurants in Salisbury that will be sold out all weekend and hotels translates into $33 million over three days,” Demone said.

There will be a Folklife Pavilion set up during the festival, which includes arts and crafts and activities for the children.

A large amount of work went into preparing the town for the festival. The state committed $1 million for improvements to Main Street and then another $500,000 for the River Walk Amphitheater, Demone said.

The festival is free to attend. Hours are Friday, 6-10:30 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 10:30 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 6:30 p.m. Food vendors and the Festival Marketplace will open at 5 p.m. on Friday, and at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Free parking and free shuttles are available from the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center.

For more information about the Folk Festival, visit, call Caroline O’Hare at 410-677-1917 or email