Folk Festival returns to city this weekend

10/7/2021, 6 p.m.
Following an all-virtual event last year, the Richmond Folk Festival is set to return in person to the Downtown riverfront …

Following an all-virtual event last year, the Richmond Folk Festival is set to return in person to the Downtown riverfront Friday, Oct. 8, to Sunday, Oct. 10.

The eclectic free festival will showcase music and dance performances by 30 artists from across the country and around the globe, along with traditional crafts, story-telling and food.

Music and dance will take place on five stages and will cover a wide range of genres, from African-American a cappella gospel, blues, blue- grass and Lakota hoop dance to Northern Plains drumming, traditional Sicilian music, Persian santour and more.

Additionally, the Virginia Folklife Traditional Crafts Area will present MASK, featuring the Mongolian masks and ceremonial costumes and dance of artist Gankhuyag “Ganna” Natsag of Arlington, Mongolia’s cultural am- bassador to the United States. The artist is known for recreating masks associated with the Mongolian Buddhist tsam, a secret ritual that had been banned by Mongolia’s Communist government in the 1930s.

The folk festival will feature a variety of international food and art by vendors. Families also can participate in scavenger hunts on Brown’s Island and in Jackson Ward.

The event will run from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Friday, 1 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday along the riverfront between 2nd and 5th Streets and on Brown’s Island.

Because of COVID-19, the family area with children’s activities has been suspended, as have free shuttles to and from the site.

All festivalgoers are asked to wear masks and maintain social distancing. Face masks and hand sanitizer will be available at the festival, and free COVID-19 vaccinations will be available from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Pets that aren’t service animals, coolers, large backpacks, bikes, skateboards, alcohol and glass bottles and contain- ers, kites, drones, Frisbees and other flying objects are not allowed on the festival grounds.

Parking is available for a fee at garages around Downtown. And GRTC bus routes 3A, 3B, 3C and 87 are free and stop at Belvidere and Holly or Belvidere and the Virginia War Memorial. The first three routes operate every 30 minutes, while the #87 bus runs every hour. Call GRTC for details: (804) 358-4782.

The festival is produced by Venture Richmond in partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts, the Center for Cultural Vibrancy, the Children’s Museum and the City of Richmond.

Festival details: www.richmondfolkfestival.org