If you’re looking for a laid-back, easy listening way to spend a Saturday afternoon, the Fourth Annual Folk Festival in Klamath Falls will be just the ticket.
The event – which features five folk artist groups – will be this Saturday, June 22, from 2 to 8 p.m. in an open field behind Mia and Pia’s Pizzeria and Brewhouse, 3545 Summers Lane.
“It will be a showcase and a wonderful crescendo of the local talent this year,” according to Janet Larson, treasurer for the Klamath Folk Alliance. Tickets are $8 for adults, and children age 10 and under are admitted free.
Last August, the festival – like many outdoors events — suffered through the smoke from surrounding forest fires, so the group decided to host it early this year.
“The location is a beautiful field that has a sort of Jack Kerouac/Timothy Leary feel to it, with an abandoned white school bus in the field, a comfortable grassy lawn to sit on with some shade,” Larson said. The weather outlook for the show is expected to be in the high 70s and sunny, Saturday.
Rod Kucera, co-owner of Mia and Pia’s, will be the emcee for the event.
“This year promises to be an especially fun event as we have some exciting new musicians on the scene,” Kucera said, “such as Laurie Jo & Will, a very talented musical duo from Agency Lake; Racyne Parker, who is the daughter of Raymond Parker, and the Lost River Band (a local country/rock group) and an up-and-coming young artist in her own right, and Johnny Hermano, who has some great dance music that should get the crowd dancing.”
“We like the picturesque bus in the background as it helps create the feeling of an outdoor country festival such as Woodstock,” said Larson.
The festival will also feature local vendors offering artisanal wares and handmade items such as “floating” wooden shelves, wooden gun mounts, deer antler-handled knives, handmade jewelry and a variety of handmade, locally themed wooden toys such as logging trucks.
In addition to Mia and Pia’s offerings of artisan brews and a wide range of menu items, an Ashland bakery called Four & Twenty Blackbirds will be on hand offering local treats and favorites such as marionberry turnovers, cookies and brownies.
The Annual Klamath Folk Festival is put on by the Klamath Folk Alliance (also known as the KFA), a non-profit 501 c(3) organization comprised of local musicians, retired music teachers, community volunteers and passionate music fans dedicated to the mission of sharing and celebrating folk music throughout the community.
As a nonprofit, the KFA donates all proceeds from its Annual Folk Festival toward supporting its educational and community programs at local area schools such as EagleRidge High School, where it works closely with Musical Program Director Troy Santillie to feature local musical artists as guests in the classroom where young adults can get the opportunity to see, hear and ask about what it is like to create and perform live music. Santillie says, “The kids really enjoy these live music performances at the school by the KFA and they ask a lot of questions and get inspired by the music.”
According to KFA treasurer and newly elected KFA Board President Sherry Lee (she takes over the helm from Rod Kucera in July), “Kids today often don’t get to see live music in a family-friendly setting, and it is said that less than 1% of today’s music is listened to live. The Klamath Folk Alliance is seeking to change that by providing multiple opportunities for all members of the community to come out and see live music in low or no-cost, family-friendly settings such as Leap of Taste, Sugarman’s Corner, the farmer’s market, Third Thursdays, Rock House Brews, the senior center, local schools, and local senior residential facilities. Our Annual Folk Festival is a chance to showcase our wonderful local talent and offers everyone, young and old, a chance to enjoy some great music in a fun, outdoor, kid-friendly setting.”
“We’d like to thank again our many sponsors and local businesses who help make the work of the KFA possible, including Pacific Crest Federal Credit Union, Pacific Power, the Kiwanis Club of Klamath Falls, Rogue Credit Union, Crossover Church, and the Klamath County Cultural Coalition,” Kucera said.
While there will be tables and chairs at the event, patrons are encouraged to bring their comfortable lawn chairs and blankets.