Preparations are all set for the sixth return to Mansfield of the New England Folk Festival in 2012.
“It’s been six years and it’s been great to be here,” chair of Inside Facilties for New England Folk Festival Association Harold Henry said.
Last year’s festival was an extravaganza of folk music, dancing and arts and crafts. Visitors and performers from all over New England will be shipping in for the April 20 weekend. Last year, the Mansfield High School and Qualters Middle School saw over 1,000 visitors per day, seeing hundreds of acts, performers and dances throughout the day. International foods will also be available at certain times.
“There are very few places that you can go to see that many different people,” selectman George Dentino said during last week’s meeting. “They all have a smile on their faces and they’re all dancing, they’re all singing, everybody’s having fun. It’s just such a great atmosphere.”
NEFFA President Bill Cowie said that one of the more major improvements they have been working on have been introductory dance courses. These courses will allow those who do not know much about folk dancing to learn and participate, and have been successful in recent years.
“If you’re not ready to get out there on the dance floor yourself there’s still a lot to do,” he said.
The High School cafeteria will be made into the NEFF bazaar, in which homemade crafts, art and even instruments will be available for patrons to enjoy.
“It is a true cultural festival,” Henry said. “It’s all handmade work from people around the region. Some of those are some of the finest you can see.”
For an idea of what to expect this year, check out Patch's photos and videos to the right from last year.