Leaf peeping? Check. Apple picking? Check. Pumpkin patch? Check. The Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention? It’s been a few years. Turkey Calls? Never. Wayne Henderson Guitar Contest? Have always wanted to, but…..the Richmond Folk Festival in Virginia gives you all three plus more and begins this Friday. Contest traditions of all sorts, music, food, quilting and I wasn’t kidding about the turkey calls, from the Commonwealth are yours for the taking. You could even say that a year’s worth of contests are spread out over three days by the Virginia Folklife Program at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. As frequently happens among the green hills of Virginia, there are instruments to be won: a mandolin built by Gerald Anderson and a Henderson guitar are two examples.
Getting there: Driving to Richmond looks to be around six-hours from New York City; Silver Service/Palmetto routes on Amtrak appear to be the most direct with convenient departures and arrivals out of and into Penn Station; round-trip non-stop airfares to Richmond from Newark were pricey when I checked.
If you go: Message Jon Lohman on Facebook. As State Folklorist at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, he is instrumental in supporting many artists all over Virginia and producing this and other events. Originally from Westchester County, he is sure to welcome a fellow New Yorker!