Folk Festival Returns Aug. 26-28

Folk Festival Returns Aug. 26-28
National Folk Festival Photo Courtesy PC Remsberg Inc

SALISBURY – Bottom of FormThe National Folk Festival will return to downtown Salisbury next weekend for its final year.

For the fourth and final year, the National Folk Festival will make its way to downtown Salisbury for a weekend of music, arts, entertainment, and food. From Aug. 26-28, roughly 350 artists – musicians, dancers, storytellers and craftspeople – will take part in the festivities, with more than 20 different musical groups performing on four outdoor stages throughout downtown.

“The past few years have shown us to be prepared for the unexpected and change,” said Lora Bottinelli, executive director of the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA). After all of that uncertainty, it is reassuring to get to spend one more year among friends in downtown Salisbury at the 81st National Folk Festival.”

The National Folk Festival – a free, outdoor event produced by the NCTA – celebrates arts, culture and heritage through live performances, workshops, demonstrations, children’s activities and more.

In 2018, the event made its way to Salisbury for the first of a three-year residency on the Eastern Shore. And after two successful festivals, organizers were forced to postpone the 2020 season in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and move the event to 2021 with a smaller footprint and additional safety measures.

But officials did not stop there. Last year, at the conclusion of the 2021 event, NCTA and the City of Salisbury announced plans for the National Folk Festival to continue its tenure in Salisbury for another season.

“The nationally celebrated event, which travels from city to city across the country, will be presented on August 26-28, 2022, in Downtown Salisbury, Maryland,” a statement reads. “This will be the fourth year the National Folk Festival is presented in Salisbury, an extension of the partnership that brought the 78th, 79th and 80th National Folk Festivals to this community. It also marks a date change for a festival that has taken place the weekend after Labor Day since 2018. City leadership and the NCTA enthusiastically agreed that the opportunity to carry forward the momentum and excitement of this partnership would continue to bring lasting benefits and value to Salisbury.”

While the NCTA will select another city to accommodate its 2023 event, organizers are encouraging community members to come out and celebrate Salisbury’s final year of hosting the National Folk Festival.

“They can expect the same high level of world-renowned talent and excitement that we’ve had in the last few years,” said Caroline O’Hare, festival manager. “This year – because of the many people who have been vaccinated and as we work our way out through the COVID pandemic – we are bringing back our marketplace and family area and dance stage.”

In addition to musical and dance performances from groups such as the Himalayan Heritage Band, Wylie & the Wild West, and Walter “Wolfman” Washington & the Roadmasters, this year’s festival will feature a Folklife Area highlighting Maryland’s work cultures and industries, as well as a marketplace and family friendly activities.

“For free, the entire world gets to come to you,” O’Hare said. “Instead of traveling to Montana to see the best western singers, or to New Orleans to see an incredible blues singer, they are coming here.”

While the National Folk Festival will relocate to another host city next year, O’Hare noted the annual event will remain in Salisbury as a legacy festival. Next year, the event will be renamed the Maryland Folk Festival in Salisbury and will join the growing list of arts and entertainment events being held in the downtown area.

“We’re continuing to develop downtown Salisbury with a commitment to arts and culture in the area,” O’Hare said.

The National Folk Festival will be held Friday, Aug. 26, from 6-9:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 27, from noon to 9:30 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 28, from noon to 6 p.m. For more information, or to view a schedule of performances, visit

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.