JWG (jwg) wrote,

Our weekend at NEFFA

Traveling Skirt JWG NEFFA 2016.jpgEvery year in April there is an all weekend New England Folk Festival. We always go to it and for the past many years our group (Lavender Country & Folk Dancers) runs a food booth in the cafeteria. It takes place at the campus of the Mansfield, MA Middle and High School. This skirt is the traveling skirt brought to many dances by Mark Galipeau and worn by many people.

There is a huge variety of folk dancing and folk singing and other stuff there. We did a fair amount of Contra Dancing and English Country Dancing. When you walk around the halls there are always people jamming. Since we go there regularly and dance at various places there are lots of people that we know. And I ran into various people from past lives - work in the '60s and '70s, the Quadrivium...

Our foodbooth serves a variety of food: pasta with meatballs (real and veggie), marinara or pesto sauce), scones, cookies, muffins, croissants, tea, coffee, lemonade, popovers and frittata in the morning. We have over 30 volunteers rsc is the volunteer coordinator. Some of the volunteers work just a couple of hours, others such as Chris Ricciotti and Sam Arfer are at work essentially the whole time (plus before and after) (Chris did go off to call a couple of times). We do all the purchasing, preparation, cooking, and serving. We are very popular. The profits (amount unknown as of now but usually between $5,000 to $7,000) go to the various affiliated dance groups where the volunteers choose where their share goes. Without these funds our English Country Dance series would no longer exist. I like my few-hours-a-year career as a food-service worker.

The school cafeteria and maintenance workers are extremely friendly and helpful - they always greet us warmly when we show up. I suspect we are a lot easier to deal with than the kids that usually encounter. At the end of the day I saw one of the maintenance men riding around a floor cleaner/polisher and joked with him that they should get a bunch of them and let the kids used tham as bumper cars.

Here is a 1 minute video taken by Doug Plummer - a well-known dance photographer that gives a good idea of what the festival is like.

Tags: contra dance, lcfd, tradition

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