35th Annual Natchitoches-NSU Folk Festival


folk6woparagonThe 35th Annual Natchitoches-NSU Folk Festival will be held July 18th and 19th in Prather Coliseum on the Northwestern State University campus. The Festival will be on Friday, July 18th from 4:30pm until 11:15pm, and Saturday, July 19th from 8:00am until 11:00pm.  Tickets are $11.00 for a two-day pass, available in advance only, $8.00 for all events on Saturday or $5.00 for a one-time evening pass to all events after 5:00pm.


The Festival Theme is “Tricentennial Natchitoches: Celebrating Louisiana’s Folk Heritage”. The Festival is one of a series of events in the year-long Tricentennial celebration of the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase. Along with music, food and crafts, narrative sessions and demonstrations will be featured.


The Annual Louisiana State Fiddle Championship will also be part of the Festival. The Fiddle Championship will be held July 19th at 12:00pm in Magale Recital Hall. There will be a non-championship class and a championship class for those 21 and under, 22 to 59, and age 60 and above. Registration is at noon in the second floor foyer outside Magale Recital Hall. Guitarist extraordinaire Richard Smith and cellist Julie Adams will perform from 11:30am to 12:45pm. The Fiddle Championship winner will perform on the main stage in Prather Coliseum at 5:30pm.


Music on Friday will be Cajun music by Don Fontenot et Les Amis de Louisiana, Zydeco by Corey Ledet and his Zydeco band, Celtic music by Smithfield Fair, roots Americana music by Reverend Charley’s Patent Medicine Show, gospel with the Detention Center Choir and Jesus Rhythm, an open bluegrass and country jam with Max and Marcy, and blues by Hardrick Rivers and the Rivers Revue Band.


Music on Saturday will include Cajun music with Jo-El Sonnier and Louisiana Pride, Bonsoir, Catin, and Cameron Dupuy and Cajun Troubadours, bluegrass with Grassfire, Zydeco with Jeffery Broussard and the Creole Cowboys, native songs and dances by the Caddo Culture Club, Celtic music by Smithfield Fair, blues music by Jeffrey LeBlanc and the Delta Drifters and Hardrick Rivers, rockabilly with Al Ferrier, traditional songs by Reasonable Facsimile and Natchitoches favorites the Back Porch Band, Steve Wells Music, Ed Huey, French Creole la la music by Goldman Thibodeaux and the Lawtell Playboys, and an open bluegrass and country jam with Max and Marcy.


Narrative sessions will include plantation life, rockabilly and Louisiana from the perspective of Farrier, musical informances with Bonsoir, Catin, Grassfire, Smithfield Fair and Dupuy, regional folk architectural styles, Los Adaes, and the legacy of Clementine Hunter. Narrative sessions will also cover the importance of Louisiana traditional music with Sonnier, a discussion of blues in the Delta with Huey, LeBlanc and Rivers, the history of Fort St. Jean Baptiste, Natchitoches Parish regional cuisine, Indians along the El Camino Real, and Caddo native crafts. They year’s Festival will also feature an accordion workshop and jam session with Broussard and Thibodeaux. Festival attendees are invited to bring their own accordion and learn from these legendary musicians. Ed Huey will also lead a hambone workshop.


Craftspeople have been invited to display their traditional work on Saturday and discuss their work with those attending the Festival. Craftspeople are expected to display quilted folk art wall hangings, alligator jewelry, palmetto, cane and pine needle baskets, original wood relief paintings, beadwork, baskets, handmade instruments, Pysanky eggs, whips, file’ making, boat making, okra pod artistry, wood carving, walking sticks, dolls, scroll work and puzzles for children. Also on display will be leather bound journals and jewelry, Koasati baskets, paintings, sculpture, Houma crafts, banjos, preserves, dulcimers, Mardi Gras masks and regalia, iron work wreaths and birdhouses, chinaberry necklaces, lye soap, quilling and wood burning, custom knives, debris art, Caddo pottery, leatherwork, whittling, carvings and quilting, plantation toys, traditional weaving, spinning and dying, woodcarving and more.


Support for the Festival is provided by grants from the Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc., City Bank and Trust Company, Cleco, the Department of Culture, Recreation, & Tourism: Louisiana Division of the Arts—Shreveport Regional Arts Council, the Natchitoches Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, Natchitoches attorney Desirée Dyess, the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission, the Natchitoches Tricentennial Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Park Service Connect Trails To Parks Program and El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, Inc.


For advance tickets or more information, call (318) 357-4332, email folklife@nsula.edu, or go to http://louisianafolklife.nsula.edu.