First full day of Richmond Folk Festival brings dozens to Brown’s Island

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Dozens of excited people packed the festival grounds at Brown’s Island Saturday for the first full day of the Richmond Folk Festival, put on by Venture Richmond.

The festival celebrates the roots, richness and variety of international cultures through music, dance, traditional crafts, storytelling and food.

Festival goers told 8News they’re happy it’s being held in-person this year after a virtual event was held in place of it last year, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parking spots in the area were hard to come by as people were parking and walking several miles to get to the action.

Festival volunteers Angela Kumi and Lydia Johnson said there’s a bigger meaning behind bringing the dozens of festival-goers together for fun.

“You have different cultures coming together and you just have this big melting pot of what America essentially is,” Johnson told 8News in an interview Saturday.

Officials were prepared for the large crowds, making sure it’s COVID-safe, with socially-distanced seating and asking folks to mask up in tight spaces.

John Charlet and his family have been going since the festival’s beginning in Richmond. “It’s just like such a gem for the city,” he said.

Hayley Darwin and her friend Missy Hinceman said it’s rained almost every time the event has happened, but that hasn’t deterred the more than 250,000 fans there in the past.

“A lot of us haven’t done things like this together in quite a while,” Darwin said about being able to come back to the festival in-person this October.

After the year everyone had in 2020, Charlet said he’s glad Richmond’s largest festival is back.

“It’s really in a time of, you know, where not everybody can agree on everything. I think this is an event where everybody can really get behind it,” Charlet said.

Sunday is the last day for the festival. It starts at 1 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m. Donations help keep the festival free to attend.

8News will learn Monday how many people showed up to the traditional event.

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