70th Annual National Folk Festival: Butte, Montana July 11 - 13, 2008


Take the family to Butte, Montana, this summer for one  the country’s largest and most prestigious celebrations of the arts, the National Folk Festival. First presented in 1934, it is the oldest multicultural festival in the nation. This “moveable feast of deeply traditional folk arts” celebrates American culture through music, dance, traditional craft, storytelling, food and more. Festival dates are Friday, July 11th through Sunday, July 13th and the entire event is FREE to the public.

With historic, uptown Butte, Montana as its backdrop, seven stages will offer continuous performances throughout the long weekend. The Festival features a broad array of music and dance performances, participatory dancing, hands-on workshops, children’s activities, regional and ethnic foods, parades, craft exhibits and more. The National brings together a jubilant, diverse array of offerings appealing to audiences of all ages.

Over 250 musicians, dancers and craftspeople will demonstrate, exhibit and perform. Musical styles ranging from blues, rockabilly, jazz, cowboy, bluegrass, western swing, zydeco, polka, old time, gospel and many more will highlight the Festival. Stages will range in size from a 10,000 seat, open-air amphitheater to small, intimate acoustic settings. Some of the feature performances include: Wylie and the Wild West (western, see photo above), Shemekia Copeland (blues), The Seldom Scene (bluegrass), Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca (Congolese/Cuban), The Oinkari Basque Dancers (traditional Basque dancing & music), and many more.    

Historic Uptown Butte – perched in the Northern Rocky Mountains between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks – will be the site of the 70th, 71st and 72nd National Folk Festivals (2008, 2009,2010). This is the first time the National Folk Festival has been held west of the Mississippi River in over 40 years, and its first time ever in Montana.

To learn more about the upcoming National Folk Festival visit:     http://nationalfolkfestival.com. This event is produced by the National Council for Traditional Arts, http://ncta.net

SOURCE: Travel Montana (http://visitmt.com/

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".