Sunday, May 21, 2017

SPRING GULCH: Time for outdoor music

On Saturday we headed up to the Spring Gulch Folk Festival in Lancaster County and listened to a wide variety of music, from "Brazilian bluegrass" to zydeco, Appalachian Mountain harmonies, Southern rock, and social justice anthems.
One duo, Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards, said they like to walk from town to town, with their instruments, just so they can explore small-town America.
The high-energy band Matuto -- they had members of the audience dancing and kicking in a conga line -- travels, too: around the world as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. State Department.
The old-time fiddle and banjo duo Sam Greaves and Tyler Hughes sang the moving "Ain't We Brothers" and "Just Like Jordan." 
My favorite act was the Snyder Family Band out of North Carolina. The father plays upright bass, his daughter plays fiddle, and his sons play banjo and guitar. They were terrific, and after their set the merchandise table was swamped with folks like me buying their CD.
The Spring Gulch Resort Campground where the fest is held is a lovely, sprawling, hilly place, so people parked their RVs at their assigned spot and then drove down to the field using golf carts. There was a definite 1960s contingent in evidence, like the circle of guys with gray ponytails and tie-dyed shirts playing hackysack while holding their drinks.
The family sitting in front of us spanned three generations and brought along Chloe, their low-key, 10-year-old dog.
Although many of the RVers went back to their campsites for dinner, the on-site food vendors included Rita's water ice, Auntie Anne's pretzels, funnel cakes, freshly grilled burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, and home-made whoopee-pies (I had a mocha one, so tasty!).
I was fascinated by the way they produced the corkscrew French fries: the woman impaled a whole raw potato onto a rod connected to a driver, which propelled it into a spiralizing blade. Seriously, the Dewalt tool company needs to use that in an ad.
We were really impressed by the campground personnel, who although they were busy remained cheerful, efficient, and laid-back. Spring Gulch has a New Holland address, but it took us only a half-hour to get there from Unionville. (The 10 p.m. trip home was a little longer; thank goodness for GPS.)

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