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Fall Folk Festival rings in autumn in Spokane

Solomon Katumbi, with microphone, sings the solo, leading the rest of the Neema Youth Choir in their first song Nov. 12, 2017 at the Fall Folk Festival at Spokane Community College. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Solomon Katumbi, with microphone, sings the solo, leading the rest of the Neema Youth Choir in their first song Nov. 12, 2017 at the Fall Folk Festival at Spokane Community College. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

For the 23rd year, autumn in Spokane features a folk-centric soundtrack thanks to the Spokane Fall Folk Festival.

This year’s festival takes place Saturday and Sunday at Spokane Community College.

As always, the festival’s lineup features a variety of performers, all with a folk bent.

On Saturday, catch Dick Warwick reciting American cowboy and Australian bush poetry (1 p.m., the Underground); music from Hawaii from Mele Polinahe (11 a.m., Cafeteria Stage); East Indian folk song and dance from the South Asia Cultural Association (11:30 a.m., Cafeteria Stage); and traditional folk dance from Spokane Bulgarian Community (6:30 p.m., Small Gym-Building 5).

On Sunday, the fun continues with Japanese drumming from Spokane Taiko (4:15 p.m., Lair Auditorium); folk tales for all ages from the Spokane Storytelling League (1:45 p.m., Conference Room); Desiree Aguirre on “old-time banjo” (1:45, Bistro Stage); and ritual Aztec dance by Danza Mexica (1:15 p.m., Small Gym-Building 5).

In between sets, check out a variety of music and dance workshops including Native American flute with Peter Ali (Sunday, 1:15 p.m. - Rocket Bakery Stage, Bldg. 5), West African Drumming with David Casteal (Saturday, 2:15 p.m. - Rocket Bakery Stage, Bldg. 5) and New England Contra Dance (Saturday, 8 p.m. and Sunday, 3:30 p.m. - Cafeteria).

This year, the Family Stage features magician Dick Frost, singer Jenny Edgren and fairy tales by Lucy D. Ford.

In the Make’n’Take craft room, children can create masks, totem poles, worry dolls, gratitude journals, corn husk dolls, Chinese fans and lanterns, and paper pumpkins.

For a complete schedule of events, visit spokanefolkfestival.org.

“Our mission is to preserve and promote cultural, ethnic, traditional and international music around the region …,” festival director Sylvia Gobel told the Spokesman-Review last year. “We are not a cultural desert. Come to the Fall Folk Festival and find out why.”


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