CODROY VALLEY – This year marked the 40th anniversary of the Codroy Valley Folk Festival, which took place on July 30 and 31 in Upper Ferry. The festival holds great significance for the community and stays true to the folk art and roots of the Codroy Valley.
Chantelle MacIsaac, who is on the Codroy Valley Folk Festival committee, said previously that the Folk Festival truly belongs to the Codroy Valley, and that was abundantly clear throughout this year’s celebrations.
“The festival went off without a hitch and the committee couldn’t be happier with the outcome. We weren’t sure going into it how it would go, but there were a lot of people home, both due to the fact a lot of people were able to travel for the first time since COVID and because of Come Home Year festivities. Given we were apprehensive and weren’t sure how the numbers were going to be, we were very happy with how many people we had, both during the two days of entertainment and for the Saturday night dance.”
MacIsaac said the dance was definitely one of the highlights.
“The Jack Daniels Band kept the dance floor packed the entire night and it was so nice to see so many people reuniting and enjoying themselves. COVID didn’t keep people away at all. We kept as many protocols as we could, of course. It’s still around so we did have to make some adjustments in terms of volunteers, but without a doubt, the festival felt as normal as it always has been.”
Even the weather co-operated.
“The weather was absolutely gorgeous for both days. We expected rain Saturday night, but it held off and we had just enough of a breeze to keep the flies away. We couldn’t have asked for better!”
Saturday and Sunday held many surprises for attendees.
“The Breeze Band kept the entertainment going all day Saturday and included guests such as Bill Bruce, Kenny Ryan, Roddy MacDonald, Dillon Ryan and Harrison Vallis. Sunday started with youth hour, and we saw some great entertainers including Brooklynn Cormier, Bridget O’Quinn, Julie Thorne and Myla Baird, who won the Sears MacArthur Music Bursary Award sponsored by the Leading Edge Credit Union. The rest of the day featured more local entertainment such as Kelly Tompkins, Lucy Poirier, Stephen Wall, Paul Pike, Elaine White and Loretta Johnson,” shared MacIsaac.
Feedback from audience members proved the festival had made a successful return after years of cancellation due to the pandemic.
“Response from visitors was extremely positive. The kids’ events were a huge hit. People enjoyed having their families out to enjoy the day. The art class, conducted by Jane Walker, was also a nice addition to the events for the day,” said MacIsaac.
The new addition to the festival for this year also proved to be a hit with vendors and guests.
“The Makers and Gardeners market certainly made a great addition to the festival. We were provided with 14 different vendors including jewelry, knitted items, handmade personal hygiene items, rugs and more. It was a great collaboration, and we certainly hope it will become an annual event for the festival.”
Even though the festival has only just come to an end, people are already expressing their eagerness for the next one.
“The festival is over, the tent is taken down and put away by an amazing group of volunteers, the signs are down, and I would be amiss not to mention volunteer Frank AuCoin, who was instrumental in all aspects, a huge reason our festival was as successful as it was. We can’t wait for next year and look forward to another festival and another opportunity to bring people together in good spirits,” said MacIsaac.