Wednesday, April 24, 2013

NEFFA 2013

I got a kick out of the Everything Else signs
I have survived another year of the New England Folk Festival! (...although my knee and ankle weren't too sure about that.)  It's a weekend of dancing, music, crafts, meeting new people and catching up with folks I haven't seen since the last festival.  I spent lots of time contra dancing, brushing up on my English dancing, taking in the artwork and the people and even learned a bit about native American flutes.

For me, the festivities begin on Thursday night, when I volunteer for setup.  Years ago, when I first volunteered for this, I managed to cut my hand within five minutes.  It was bad enough that I needed it cleaned out and a band-aid.  Harold dug out the first aid kit and patched me up.  I learned my lesson, and have always brought work gloves to NEFFA setup.

So this year, we start setting up tables and on the second table I grabbed I manged to snag my thumb on a rough patch of wood.  As I'm examining my thumb for a splinter, Harold, who was standing behind me, plucks my gloves that were hanging out of my back pocket and hands them to me.  Yup.  When it comes to NEFFA set-up, I'm accident prone.

At least I'm not so klutzy the rest of the festival!

Native American flutes, dancing, signs, the information desk and hanging out

There is just never enough time to do everything.  We arrived early on Saturday, and attended Native American Flutes.  Pretty music.  The guy had at least a dozen different types of flutes, made from wood, reeds and bones, each with slightly different characteristics.  He taught us some history about the flutes as well as playing several of them.

Beyond that, I spent most of Friday night, Saturday and Sunday contra dancing.  I did a decent amount of English dancing this year, too.  It's my annual fix - the closest I come to doing English during the years is at a cotillion or Fezziwig's Ball.

It's not as hands-on as contra dancing.  It can appear sedate, but I think it's just as complex as contra dancing.  There's time in between the moves to goof off, and a lot of people take that opportunity to play with other members in the set.  Sometimes there's a lot going on without anyone saying a word.  It was fun to watch all of the dancers interact with each other.

It had been a rough week for many people in Boston and NEFFA was just the thing that we all needed. 

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