Performers with styles ranging from folk and bluegrass to cowboy poetry and storytelling will entertain thousands of people at the two-day Folk & Heritage Festival presented by Jivemind and organized by Glendale Parks, Recreation & Library Services.
The festival will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 23 and 24 at Sahuaro Ranch Park Historic Area, 9802 N. 59th Ave.
Attendees are welcome to enjoy entertainment on eight stages, and participate in free workshops on topics such as Fingerstyle Guitar, Music Production, Harmonica Workshop, and Vocal Harmonies led by accomplished entertainers. A dance stage on the park’s main lawn will feature dancing styles that range from square dancing, belly dancing, and fiesta dancers to folk dancing.
This year’s festival will include the Buffalo Soldiers of the Arizona Territory - ladies and gentlemen of the regiment, who were awarded the official “Buffalo Soldiers” 9th and 10th Cavalry, and 24th and 25th Infantry organization title as part of Arizona’s official Arizona Centennial Legacy Project in 2012. The men and women of the group perform historical presentations of the timeline 1866 to 1902, wearing authentic uniforms and period time clothing representing the all African-American Army units created by Congress in 1866.
The unique festival includes family entertainment, historic Sahuaro Ranch house tours, blacksmith demonstrations, and a site scavenger hunt. Admission and most activities are free. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase, along with vendors selling crafts and jewelry.
“This festival provides a very unique experience,” said Michelle Yates, parks and recreation coordinator. “With its variety of music and entertainment in the historic setting of one of the Valley’s oldest and preserved ranches, people are taken back in time for both a historical and cultural perspective.”
Jivemind, the festival’s presenting sponsor, will record a commemorative CD live at the event. Sales of the CD will be available in the weeks following the event with preorders available at the festival. Midwestern University is the official volunteer sponsor. Representatives from the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame, Arizona Pickers and Grinners, Arizona Autoharp Club, AMAZ Radio, and additional nonprofits will have exhibition booths.
Mayor Jerry Weiers will be on hand to officially begin the festival, 9:45 a.m. March 23, with welcome remarks and the introduction of the main opening, Arizona’s Official State Historian Marshall Trimble.
A complete schedule of the entertainment and workshops is available at www.glendaleaz.com/ParksandRecreation. Volunteers are still needed to help with a variety of activities during the event. To volunteer, or for more information about the event, call 623-930-4200.