JWG (jwg) wrote,

A weekend at NEFFA

This was the weekend of the annual New England Folk Festival. It is an entirely volunteer run enterprise that takes place in the Mansfield, MA High and Middle Schools (on same campus). The two gyms are dance halls, the two auditoriums are used for performances or workshops on the stages, and there are are activities in some of the classrooms. It starts on Friday evening and wraps up on Sunday afternoon. People from all over the country come to NEFFA to dance, sing, buy folk-stuff, play music, Morris dance, and have lots of lots of fun. It is so great walking through the halls and dancing with all the smiling people. Over the years of going to local dances and NEFFA there are lots of familiar people of all ages.

A last year's Pearls before Swine - thank you Steven Pastis.

Our several dance groups run a food booth whose profits (I don't yet know how much they were this year) go to the dance groups to help support musicians and callers fees. A small crew of people do all the cooking and a large number of volunteers, coordinated by rsc, do the serving, money collecting and various odd jobs.

We have pasta with meatballs, veggie meat balls; marinara or pesto sauce, hot dogs, meat ball subs; coffees, teas, lemonade; 4 kinds of cookies; multiple kinds of muffins; scones; fruit cup; yogurt; popovers for breakfast; egg frittata for breakfast; and more...

I worked about 12 hours helping setup, cleanup and serving food. I did a fair amount of contra dancing and English Country dancing plus lots of socializing. It was exhausting and wonderful.

One of the things that make doing the food booth easier than it might be is that the kitchen staff and the maintenance staff at the school are all extremely nice and helpful. When I walked into the kitchen at first, Carol the head person (I think) there greeted me with a welcome back and a hug. They all seem to enjoy us being there having such a great time. I thanked a lot of them personally.
Tags: contra dance, english country dancing, lcfd, tradition

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