I just got back from the Texas Folklife Festival. It was my first year to go, and it was a blast! Exhausting, but wonderful. They estimate annual attendance at around seventy thousand; I probably talked to at least two or three thousand, myself. The Festival pulblicized my work to their local news station, and they had a news reporter from WOAI TV come out and interview me!
The photo at the top is the left-hand corner of my booth; that’s the Lao village reel, along with some different kinds of silk fabrics from around the world. I took these photos on the morning of the third day, and I forgot to put my Wyatt reel back up on the table. It goes in the blank spot in the middle. The theme for the whole thing is different cultures, so I focused on the different traditions and styles of silk, as well as wild silkmoths from all over. The live bugs were a BIG hit.
I was told that I’d have two eight-foot tables and an 8×8 plot to set up in; it turned out that it was a loosely defined area under a large tent. It was nice – the tent kept the hot sun off of us, and we actually got a pretty good through breeze.
This is a little more of the main front table. I like the way this setup worked, although I am realizing the need to make heavier table covers. I used some light plastic ones, and they blew around a lot.
This is the second table; it has various kinds of silk yarns, and the wild silkmoths in Riker mounts.
These are just a few shots of the Festival. The Hemisfair site is on 22 acres, and the whole thing was fairly densely packed with booths.
I think this one is cool, although it turned out a little dim. On stage are square dancers; waiting in the wings are bagpipers, and the Chinese lion dancers just came off. It was very multicultural.
There were several stages constantly filled with dancers and musicians. I think these are Greek, although they could be something else similar. They had a lot of ethnic costumes and dances that I didn’t immediately recognize.
These guys were SO cool. To listen to them, they sounded like a cross between STOMP and a Kodo drumming troupe. They’re drumming on small barstools, each of which has a five-gallon water jug and a small saucepan attached.
There were a couple of bands like this – mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, violins, etc. I wish my friend Evelyn had been here to see them!
Random hot guy with a tattoo. There were some hot cowboys working a snow machine, but I’m going to make a separate entry for them.