The Fourth Annual Big Horn Basin Folk Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday, August 4 and 5, 2018, in Hot Springs State Park, Thermopolis, Wyoming.
The Festival celebrates the handwork and creativity of Wyoming’s own artists, craftsmen, musicians and storytellers. It includes musicians performing at the Pavilion, a Fine Art and Folk-Art Show, the Trading Post with additional items for sale, a Folk Master Craftsmen Tent, artisan and guild demonstrations, the Hear Me Now Storytelling Circle, and hands-on activities for kids. New this year to the storytelling line-ups are “Pioneer Tales: Memories of the Past” on Saturday and Sunday, sponsored by Hot Springs County Pioneer Association and Ghost Tales on Saturday evening at the Pavilion.
Oral histories have been called “the first kind of history”. Stories from the Next Generation will feature anecdotes and even some tall tales reflecting continued family histories, interesting incidents and natural occurrences, all types of accounts that tie the Big Horn Basin community together. Everyone has a story and now’s the time to tell it! Next Generation storytellers include Ray Shaffer, Matt Brown, Carol Ann Barham, John Lumley, Lois Odde, Tyrell Mills, Rick Hudson, and Walt Geis. Other storytellers who will be spinning their tales at the Hear Me Now Storytelling Circle on Saturday and Sunday include Michelle King (Basin); “V” the Gypsy Cowbelle (Thermopolis), Jeb Schenck (Thermopolis), Willie LeClair (Riverton), Catherine Ringler (Clark) and Val Burgess (Sheridan).
Saturday evening after the Pageant, listen to Ghost Tales, at the Pavilion, if you are brave enough. Michelle King, Ray Shaffer, Monica Butler will share stories in the dark that may make your hair curl. Hot Springs County Museum staff will talk about ghostly occurrences in the Museum. Beware, some stories might frighten younger children.
The Folk Masters Craftsmen Tent, sponsored by the Wyoming Arts Council, will house Folk Masters and crafts men and women demonstrating their specialties. The roster at this date includes Leane Linnell (Riverton), horsehair hitching; Darrell & Koleton Lonebear (Fort Washakie), rawhide drum making; Von Ringler (Clark), leatherwork, Wild West Rug Hookers (Cody), Worland Wyoming Woodturners, (Worland), woodturning; Russ Ferree and Ray Ferree (Thermopolis), handmade mountain man items; Mike Chimenti & Howard Palmer, basic fly tying (Thermopolis) David Osmunden (Buffalo), Arrowhead Forge; Pete Weisbeck (Thermopolis), boat making; and Joe Moon (Thermopolis), spray paint art. Shorter demonstrations throughout both days include Jennifer Taylor (Worland), goat soap making; Hope Abeyta (Riverton), native bead work; Stephanie Owens (Thermopolis), polymer clay sculptures and lampwork beads; Mike Hurwitz (Alta), how to make music; and Brenda Winter (Cheyenne), goat cashmere weaving.
A Kiwanis Fine Art and Folk Art show and sale will feature artists selling their ware made of paper, clay, metal, fibers, wood, leather and animal byproducts, along with painting, photography, jewelry, and sculpture. The Kiwanis Trading Post will include other items for sale.
Art activities include Sallie Wesaw basket making class; a Sun Fabric make-and-take with Marcia Nelson and Deb Stewart; an owl rock painting make-and-take with Cindy Clancy; a singalong with “V” the Gypsy Cowbelle and handmade instruments; and lessons in how to rope a steer head with John Herrin.
Musicians scheduled to perform at the Hot Springs State Park Pavilion include David Romtvedt & The Fireants (Buffalo), dance music of the Americas, “V”, the Gypsy Cowbelle, (Thermopolis), traditional & original country, banjo & guitar; Mike Hurwitz & The Aimless Drifters, (Alta), country-blues and cowboy; Hot Springs Dance (Thermopolis & Worland), dance performance; Buffalo Pan Steel Drums (Buffalo); and The Songbirds (Thermopolis) spiritual and gospel music.
Author! Author! Hot Springs County Friends of the Library and Hot Springs County Museum & Cultural Center will host a special tent for Wyoming Authors. Come and meet authors David Romtvedt, John Davis and Darrah Perez and get your books signed. Other Wyoming Authors books will be available.
Food will be available throughout the day on both days. The Kiwanis Club will serve their always popular burgers and brats lunch on Saturday. Black Bear Catering will feature Philly steak sandwiches; chicken fingers; and nachos as a fundraiser for the Festival on Sunday. A Food Court will feature a variety of eats and treats on both days.
The Folk Festival is part of the Gift of the Waters Pageant Days Weekend. The Pageant tells how the hot springs were gifted to the state by the Native Americans on the Wind River Reservation. It will be performed starting around 6 pm in the area around the Big Spring, Saturday and Sunday evening.
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