The 56th Annual Arkansas Folk Festival benefitted from generally good weather for the traditional celebration of music and crafts.
Activities started with the Music Roots Concert at the Ozark Folk Center State Park Thursday night, where local youth talent was showcased in a concert featuring students who receive lessons through the school system. During the evening, students were able to sign up for next school year’s program.
Friday was sunny and cool for the first day of scheduled music on the courthouse stage and craft vendors in the Artisan’s Market and around the square.
Saturday was the big day with a parade down Main Street, more music and crafts, and an afternoon rodeo. The day started off cloudy but there was sunshine in the afternoon before rain set in during the evening.
Winners of Saturday’s parade float competition were Herpel Missionary Baptist Church, first place with “Pride in the Community”; Extension Homemakers Council, second place with “Legends Past and Present”; and Centennial Bank, third place with “Taking Great Pride in Being Your Hometown Bank.” The Ozark Folk Center State Park was awarded an honorable mention for its float honoring the first Arkansas Folk Festival of 1963 and fiddler Sam Younger.
Other floats competing this year were “1974 Election Tally at Buster’s Pool Hall” by Citizens Bank, “Mountain View Family Pride” by May Motor Company and Pinewood Cabins, and “Timbo Goes Old School” by Timbo High School senior Beta Club and FFA. Other floats appearing in the parade included a music float from Mellon’s Country Store, and an entry called “Rural Rhythm Cloggers at the Saturday Night Barn Dance.”
The theme was “Old Time Pride.”
Dignitaries heading the parade included Grand Marshals John Dan and Susan Kemp, Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, and Miss Arkansas Maggie Benton.
Nikki Morrow, executive director of the Mountain View Area Chamber of Commerce, said there was a great turnout and everything went smoothly. “I’d like to say a big thank you to the volunteers who helped make this event successful,” she said. “It takes a team to pull off a large event like Folk Festival.”
She gave special thanks to Gin Brown for coordinating the Dignitaries Luncheon and to the Ozark Folk Center for use of the Bois D’arc Center, and to James Zini, Contessa May, Rianna Morrison and Nicole Sloan for coordinating the parade.
This year’s major event sponsor was Yelcot.
From the April 25, 2018 issue.Parade grand marshals John Dan and Susan Kemp.