Richmond’s biggest festival returns for its 12th year on the banks of the James River. With more than 30 musical acts appearing on 7 stages, it can be overwhelming to choose which ones to check out. Consider this your cheat sheet and you won’t be disappointed.
On Friday, get yourself to the Dominion Dance Pavilion by 7:45pm to see the butt-shaking zydeco of Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie.
The Creole Cowboy began sitting in with his father’s zydeco band, the Eunice Playboys, playing the rubboard at age 7, and taught himself accordion by age 13. Now leading the new generation of the band, he mixes traditional Cajun and Creole tunes with other genres and his own compositions to create a blend of zydeco, R&B, Cajun, Country and blues.
The great thing about the Folk Fest is that you don’t have to commit to camping out at just one stage, you can bop from stage to stage, hitting a little of this, and a little of that. So I might catch a little Sri Lankan Dance Academy of NY, or Gary U.S. Bonds on my way to see Adonis Puentes & the Voice of Cuba Orchestra. I’m a huge fan of Cuban music, and Mr. Puentes adds a smooth modern vibe to the Buena Vista Social Club sound. Saturday, he’ll be in the Dominion Dance Pavilion at 1:30, at the Altria stage at 3:15 and on Sunday, once again in the Dominion Dance Pavilion at 2:45.
People often don’t understand what the full breadth “folk” can represent. Some erroneously only think of 70s folk artists like Peter, Paul and Mary but in reality folk music, by definition, is “reflective of the cultural life of a community… sharing a common ethnic heritage, language, religion or geographic region.” So no one should be surprised to find beatboxing at this year’s festival. This form of vocal percussion was birthed here in the US as part of hip hop culture and Rahzel, the Godfather of Noyze, with newcomer, Nicole Paris, will amaze you with their abilities, in their performance “The Beat[box] Goes On” You might remember Rahzel from his stint in The Roots, and Nicole became a Youtube sensation in a video she posted of her dad and herself competing, lovingly, in an impressive display of beatboxing. Catch them at 4:15 in the Dominion Dance Pavilion.
And get yourself over to the Union Bank & Trust Virginia Folklife Area to get some culture in you, commonwealth-style. This year, they’re pairing food traditions with music so you’ll be able to taste the bisque of Tangier Island, while listening to the sweet strains of Cora Harvey Armstrong’s Gospel, or try Sephardic stuffed grape leaves while hearing traditional Sephardic folk songs.
If Saturday was a marathon, Sunday is more of a leisurely stroll to fill in what I missed. It’s a slower pace as I try to hit more of the food and marketplace vendors, and I may spend a little more time relaxing at the Craft Beer Tent. My “can’t miss” acts on Sunday are going to be the tejano music of Conteño (I’m a sucker for accordion!) and the Unique Sound of the Mountains, (I cannot resist the standup bass), and I’ll make a point of getting to their performances early to check out the proceeding acts as well. Conteño, 3:15 at the Community Foundation Stage, are all second and third generation tejano musicians and their distinctive accordion-driven dance music will get you moving. While Unique Sound of the Mountains, 4:00 at the Union Bank & Trust Virginia Folklife Stage, will take you back to mountains of Virginia with their old-time banjo/bass sound.
With three full days of music, you just can’t go wrong, and by “sampling” as manyof the tents as possible, you’ll discover new favorites in old traditions along the way. This event is rain or shine, so grab your rain boots if you need to, with plentyof covered stages, you’ll still be able to enjoy all the festival has to offer, even if you’re a little damp
Free Trees from the Community Roots Program
Trees are a great addition to any yard and you can get one for free from the Richmond Tree Stewards.
Richmond Tree Stewards are offering up around 100 to homeowners to plant on their property in Richmond, through Community Roots. The goal is to expand the urban canopy providing shade, habitat, watershed protection, and beauty all around town.
This year most of the trees will come from our gravel bed. These trees will be smaller than those we have given away in previous years and are bare root – there will be no soil on them. They may have many fewer leaves that the trees in pots. Gravel beds are not for growing trees; they grow roots. These trees should have actively growing root systems with a greater volume of roots than trees grown in pots. Studies show that there is less transplant shock and a better chance of survival for these trees.
- There is a limit of 2 trees per homeowner
- This program provides trees for private propery in the City of Richmond only. We are not providing trees to be planted in tree wells or along the street.
- You must pick up the trees on either Saturday, November 4 between 9 a.m. to 12 noon or Sunday, November 5 between 12 noon to 3 p.m. at our gravel bed on Forest Lawn Drive. (Note: This is behind John Marshall HighSchool, not the Forest Lawn Drive at a cemetery). Applicants will receive specific directions to the gravel beds in an e-mail.
- Trees from the gravel bed should be the same day they are picked up.
The list of trees offered is on the application below, but before applying for your tree please review the links below.
InLight 2016 to light up the night in Scott’s Addition this Friday
The annual art event will bring together more than 20 artists for unique and interactive illuminated exhibits throughout the neighborhood.
The streets of Scott’s Addition will come alive with a variety of light-based art and performances Friday night. It’s all part of InLight, an annual event that invites artists to take over a particular neighborhood, attracting audiences to unique areas of Richmond.
The event will feature performances, sculpture, video, and interactive projects that will illuminate pathways, walls, sidewalks, green spaces, trees, benches, building facades, and more, in Scott’s Addition. InLight 2016 will kick off with the Community Lantern Parade.
Created in 2008 on the occasion of 1708 Gallery’s 30th birthday, this free public art exhibition that offers Richmond the opportunity to engage with contemporary art outside the gallery walls and to experience the city in all new ways.
InLight 2016 will kick off with a Community Lantern Parade, which will travel the length of Clay Street from Altamont Avenue to Roseneath Road. The parade begins at 7:30 pm from the corner of Altamont Avenue and Clay Street. Join in at 6:00 PM make your own lantern or bring a lantern you made–it’s your choice.
Food trucks and beverages will be available throughout Scott’s Addition including at Ardent Craft Ales, Blue Bee Cider, Buskey Cider, Isley Brewing Company, The Veil Brewing Co., and 1708’s own Wine & Beer Garden. A special brew, the 1708 ACDC IPA, was also created for InLight 2016 by Isley Brewing Company. A portion of proceeds from the special beer’s sales will support the event.
Free parking will be available at the Children’s Museum of Richmond and Science Museum of Virginia, with a shuttle running to InLight every 15 minutes from 6:30 – 11:30 PM. Parking and shuttle pick up will also be available at The Diamond beginning at 9:00 PM. Additional parking will be available on the street and in surface lots in and around Scott’s Addition.
The event runs Friday, November 11th from 7:00 PM until midnight in Scott’s Addition. A full map of the event is below.
For more information including a list of participating artists, visit 1708 Gallery’s website.
Nightmare of a party on Plum
There is no shortage of Halloween fun this weekend. Here is what Bellytimber has in store.