Salisbury, MD – Mayor Jake Day is excited to announce that Salisbury has been named the official 2018-2020 National Folk Festival Host City. Salisbury was among 34 cities nationwide that competed for the honor of hosting the nation’s preeminent traveling celebration of traditional arts and culture for a three-year stay in 2018, 2019 and 2020. The announcement was made today at a press conference by the City of Salisbury and the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA). The Festival will begin its three-year stay in Salisbury in September of 2018.
The prestigious National Folk Festival is the nation’s longest-running traditional arts event, a three-day free outdoor multicultural celebration of music, dance and traditional arts and culture, which historically draws upwards of 150,000 attendees, along with an economic impact ranging from approximately $15-30 million a year.
Produced by the non-profit National Council for the Traditional Arts, the National Folk Festival has been presented in 28 cities across the country, from Chattanooga to Nashville, Richmond and Greensboro, since its inception in 1934. The National Folk Festival partners with communities across the nation to present the festival, free to the public, for three years with the understanding that the local host community intends to continue its own festival once the National moves on to its next site.
During the month of February, representatives of the NCTA visited Salisbury and evaluated the City to determine its suitability for the multiple-stage event. The Mayor’s Office, City Council, the City’s Business Development Specialist Laura Kordzikowski, Salisbury Arts and Entertainment District Executive Director Jamie Heater, Salisbury-Wicomico Economic Development Director Dave Ryan, Ward Museum Executive Director Lora Bottinelli, former Chamber of Commerce CEO Ernie Colburn, and Salisbury University President Dr. Janet Dudley Eshbach were all instrumental in making the case for Salisbury as host city.
“We were so impressed with the dynamic energy evident in Salisbury, a collective will that is propelling the community in exciting new directions,” said NCTA Executive Director Julia Olin. “Clearly, if you want to be where the real action is—and we do—it is in a city like Salisbury with a creative, holistic vision for its future. We look forward to a great partnership and successful festivals that celebrate the richness and variety of American culture writ large, and the vibrant regional culture of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, right here in the heart of the historic Delmarva Peninsula.
“We are especially pleased that, for the first time in its long history, the National Folk Festival will be presented in our home state of Maryland. Statewide support for Salisbury and the festival effort has been tremendous.”
The Festival will bring as many as six stages of continuous music, a dance pavilion, t