• psst … I’m a Realtor! Thanks for stopping by my website. I would love to help you find your dream home and community in the Hampton Roads or Williamsburg area or to sell your existing home. This website is authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of Hampton Roads and the historic triangle, and his expertise in the local real estate market. His websites, WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com and Mr Williamsburg.com were created as a resource for folks who are exploring a move to Williamsburg, VA , Hampton Roads VA and the surrounding areas of the Virginia Peninsula. On his website you can search homes for sale , foreclosures, 55+ active adult communities, condos and town homes , land and commercial property for sale in Williamsburg, Yorktown, New Kent, Poquoson, and Gloucester, VA as well as surrounding markets of Carrolton, Chesapeake,Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth Mathews, Newport News Norfolk, Poquoson, Smithfield, , Suffolk, Surry, Va Beach, Yorktown and York County Virginia You can reach John by email John@MrWilliamsburg.com or phone @ 757-254-813

The Richmond Folk Festival Opens this Friday!

Now’s the time to plan your trip to this amazing weekend of great music! Before you head out the door, make sure to leave all pets at home except for service animals. With close to 200,000 people expected, you and your pet will be more comfortable if they stay at home. Wear good walking shoes and consider bringing a collapsible chair but leave the coolers and large backpacks at home.

Next, take a look at the schedule and map of the site, with so much going on, you’ll want to plan a loose itinerary.

imageThere are two satellite parking lots with shuttles to the festival site for your convenience. Whether you park at Spring Rock Green or at Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, this is the easiest way to get to all the festival has to offer. There is monitored bike parking at 2nd and Byrd Streets and lots of $5 parking lots.

Richmond Folk Festival Opens This Weekend 2011

imageThe fourth annual Richmond VA Folk Festival — or the seventh event of this sort, if you count the original three-year run of the National Folk Festival that started it all — gets under way this  Friday at 6 p.m. and runs until Oct. 16, 2011 at 6 p.m. at the downtown riverfront. Admission is free, but donations are gladly accepted by the roving bucket brigade of volunteers.

The Folk Festival  has become one of Virginia’s largest and best-loved annual events. It was voted “best music festival” in Richmond for two consecutive years. Last year, more than 190,000 people enjoyed its incredible array of music, dance and culture from across America, boasting more than 25 performing groups on seven stages.

The festival’s mission is to bring in a variety of everything — music, dance, traditional crafts, storytelling and food — and this year’s lineup would suggest that mission was accomplished.

Performers range from Tibetan monks presenting sacred music to Original P, a funk band featuring founding members of Parliament Funkadelic. The musical realm covers reggae and doo-wop, Irish and Mexican, Afro-Cuban and Native American, country guitar and gospel.


The Richmond Folk Festival is one of Virginia’s largest events, drawing visitors from all over the country to downtown Richmond’s historic riverfront.  The Festival is a FREE three-day event that got its start as the National Folk Festival held in Richmond from 2005-2007. In the tradition of the National, the Richmond Folk Festival features more than 20 performers and performing groups, on seven stages with continuous music and dance performances, along with a Virginia Folklife Area, featuring ongoing demonstrations, an interactive Family Area produced by the Children’s Museum of Richmond, a folk art marketplace, regional and ethnic foods, festival merchandise and more. More information is available at www.richmondfolkfestival.org.

Glorious Christmas Nights Richmond VA Christmas Play

It’s a bit of a drive from Hampton Roads or Williamsburg VA but well worth the trip. The annual Christmas productions put on by the West End Assembly of God  “Glorious Christmas Nights.” This year’s production is an exception; it is a repeat of a previous work done in 2003, brought back by popular demand. Last year over 25,000 tickets were sold.

I just checked the website http://www.gloriouschristmasnights.com/ and there are still tickets available bit they seem to be selling out very quickly.

Thank you to Lowell Qualls and his informative blog posting  http://lowellequalls.wordpress.com/2008/11/05/check-out-glorious-christmas-nights/

Four-hundred actors, stage hands, musicians and dancers combine their talents to pull off a holiday show that gets you “in the mood” for Christmas.  Take a look at the clip below (from 2005 – this happens to be my favorite show) to get a feel for the quality and scope of the production.

Bob Laughlin is the producer (the Music & Fine Arts pastor), Ron Klipp is the show’s musical composer, and Kathy Craddock is the director and primary writer.  When you combine Laughlin’s genius, Craddock’s imagination and Klipp’s original scores … well, let me put it to you this way:  if you’re lucky enough to get tickets … you will have a blast, and your heart will be touched.  It’s a Broadway quality show with a message that will stir you.  Taking children just adds to the experience.

This year’s story is about two bumbling angels – Ted and Randall – who are given an assignment:  to make sure the Wise Men make it to the stable so they can bring their gifts to Jesus.  They’re told by their boss – the archangel Michael – that they can locate the Wise Men at Herod’s palace during the reign of Caesar Augustus.  When they type the coordinates and data into their heavenly GPS (”HALO”) they get it all wrong.  Instead of Herod’s palace they wind up at Harrod’s Department Store in 1903 London.  There they pick up two kids – Patch and Runt – and the screwy angels take them to Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas before finally winding up in Bethlehem.

While the script isn’t biblically accurate (the Wise Men didn’t show up at the stable on the night Jesus was born, but about two years later), it reflects what has become “the Christmas story” told in most churches at this time of year.

Like I mentioned before, the clip below comes from another great Craddock/Laughlin story.  Santa decides to fore go delivering packages on Christmas Eve one year because he’s had it with selfish, demanding kids and their materialistic parents.  That all changes when he receives a letter from a young boy who “gets it.”  (Complicating matters … Mrs. Claus believes Santa’s in a funk because she’s not as young and beautiful as she once was.)  There are villains and drama and comedy galore … and the awesome Youth choir brings the house down during their number at every show.

Tickets for the shows (there’s 16 of them over two weeks) are usually hard to come by not long after the box office opens on-line and at the church.  However … if you try really hard, and you don’t mind if your entire family can’t sit together, tickets can be had.  (All proceeds go to the Mission Fund at WEAG … www.weag.org.)

Here are a few videos of past years performances.

Richmond Va Folk Festival 2008

This great festival is only an hour away from Williamsburg, VA The final line-up for the Richmond Folk Festival, being held October 10-12, 2008, on Brown’s Island, has been announced.

Seven stages, 30+ performing groups, Virginia Folklife Area demonstration area, Crafts Marketplace, ethnic foods and more!

Last year more than 175,000 people made their way to historic downtown Richmond’s riverfront for a fantastic weekend of music, dance and culture from across America!  

A Continued Celebration
The Richmond Folk Festival is a continuation of the hugely successful National Folk Festival that was held in Richmond from 2005 through 2007.  The oldest multi-cultural traditional arts celebration in the nation, the National Folk Festival has been celebrating the roots, richness and variety of American culture through music, dance, traditional craft and food since 1934.

Date/Hours:
Friday, October 10, 2008 – Sunday, October 12, 2008 (12:00 PM-11:00 PM)

More than 30 performing groups are scheduled to perform on seven different stages throughout the festival.  Groups most recently added to the line-up feature everything from go-go to gospel; polka to salsa.  The 2008 festival will also feature a reggae band – a first for the festival. 
Inuit throat singing

  • More artists will be announced soon.
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     Previously announced performing groups for the 2008 Richmond Folk Festival include The Dan Tyminski Band, you thought George Clooney was singing the song I am a man of constant sorrow in the the movie ‘ O Brother Where art Thou ” it was really Dan Tyminski, who is now one of the top bluegrass bands in America, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, one of America’s premier Cajun bands and the leading ambassador of Cajun music, Líadan, six young music masters from across the pond in Galway, Limerick and Dublin, Ireland, performing traditional Irish music, Ledward Kaapana & Mike Kaawa, two of Hawaii’s most respected players of the slack-key and 12-string guitar, Howard Tate, performing Soul and R&B, Dale Watson playing original honky-tonk country, Traditional Arabic music performed by the esteemed Nadeem Dlaikan & Friends, Eddie & Alonzo Pennington, from Princeton, Kentucky, performing thumb-picked guitar, Inuit throat singing performed by Nukariik, a sister duo from Ontario, Canada, Eastern European musical group, Harmonia, San Jose Taiko, performing Japanese drum and dance, and the highly anticipated Tezcatlipoca Voladores, performing the “Sundance” which involves jumping from the top of a 90-foot pole and swinging slowly to the ground in circles from the ropes tied to the flyers’ ankles.

    E.U.: One of the best go-go groups on the East Coast.  Out of Washington D.C., this legendary group epitomizes the go-go sound invented in our nation’s capital with its call-and-response vocals, heavy percussion and serious dose of funk that creates an unrelenting groove. 

    Larry Bland and the Volunteer Choir: African-American gospel group, Larry Bland and the Volunteer Choir will take to the stage for a much-anticipated Richmond reunion choir in celebration of the group’s 40th anniversary.

    Mark Halata and Texavia: From Webster, Texas, Mark Halata and Texavia, will introduce festival-goers to Texas-Czech polka.  This uniquely Texas take on the polka tradition blends Tex-Mex, Czech and western honky-tonk into a highly danceable and joyous music. Rooted in Afro-Puerto Rican musical tradition

    Plena Libre: Rooted in Afro-Puerto Rican musical tradition, a powerhouse group that has emerged as one of Puerto Rico’s hottest dance bands, brings the irresistible Latin dance music of Puerto Rican salsa and bomba y plena.

    The Itals: From Kingston, Jamaica, the Itals will be the first reggae band to be featured at the festival. The Itals is made up of roots reggae legends, who combine soaring three-part harmonies with socially conscious lyrics and danceable grooves.

    Lee Sexton Band: From the coalfields of Eastern Kentucky comes the Lee Sexton Band, one of last great Appalachian banjo players and singers of his generation.

    Sharde Thomas & The Rising Star Fife and Drum Band: The 2008 festival will showcase a young sensation, Sharde Thomas & The Rising Star Fife and Drum Band, from Sardis, Mississippi.  The 18-year old Sharde Thomas breathes new life into the venerable and nearly lost African American pre-blues tradition of fife and drum that she learned from her famous grandfather, Othar Turner. 

    James Cheechoo: James Cheechoo of Moose Factory, Ontario will be performing Cree fiddling.  This unique fiddling style of the Hudson Bay area blends Native Cree elements and the music of the Scottish & French settlers in Northern Ontario.

    Vieux Farka Touré: From Bamako, Mali, West Africa, comes Vieux Farka Touré, to play Malian blues.  Following in the footsteps of his legendary father, Ali Farka Toure, this master of Malian guitar and desert blues shows the music of his heritage is a living and growing sound. 

    Todd Hallawell & Robin Kessinger: The festival will also feature another Richmonder, finger-picked guitar player, Todd Hallawell, who will team-up with West Virginia flat-picked guitar master, Robin Kessinger.

    Grupo Cimarrón: Grupo Cimarrón comes to the festival from Colombia bringing what’s called joropo music.  The cowboys of the Colombian plains created this driving, rhythmic harp-led music, combining centuries-old Spanish, African and New World musical traditions.

    The Cellicion Zuni Traditional Dancers: The Cellicion Zuni Traditional Dancers will bring the amazing dancing, drumming, singing and flute playing of the native Zuni peoples who have lived in and around Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico, for thousands of years.

    Tamara & The Shadow Theatre of Java: Tamara & The Shadow Theatre of Java will perform the art of Javanese shadow puppetry as practiced on the Island of Java, complete with a gamelan orchestra and traditional dance.

    Drums No Guns: Richmond’s own, Drums No Guns, will feature drumming and dance performances on the Genworth Foundation Family Stage, as well as running hands-on percussion workshops with children.

    Previously announced performing groups for the 2008 Richmond Folk Festival include The Dan Tyminski Band, one of the top bluegrass bands in America, “Dan Tyminski is normally found on the road with Allison Karuss & Union Station, but Tyminski has brought together his own group of good ‘ol boys for The Dan Tyminski Band.  Tyminksi, also known for being the singing voice of George Clooney in “O Brother Where Art Thou?” is based out of Nashville, TN and bringing a bit more on the bluegrass side than his normal fair with Union Station. 

     BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, one of America’s premier Cajun bands and the leading ambassador of Cajun music, Líadan, six young music masters from across the pond in Galway, Limerick and Dublin, Ireland, performing traditional Irish music, Ledward Kaapana & Mike Kaawa, two of Hawaii’s most respected players of the slack-key and 12-string guitar, Howard Tate, performing Soul and R&B, Dale Watson playing original honky-tonk country, Traditional Arabic music performed by the esteemed Nadeem Dlaikan & Friends, Eddie & Alonzo Pennington, from Princeton, Kentucky, performing thumb-picked guitar, Inuit throat singing performed by Nukariik, a sister duo from Ontario, Canada, Eastern European musical group, Harmonia, San Jose Taiko, performing Japanese drum and dance, and the highly anticipated Tezcatlipoca Voladores, performing the “Sundance” which involves jumping from the top of a 90-foot pole and swinging slowly to the ground in circles from the ropes tied to the flyers’ ankles. 

    Before going any further, let’s clear something up. Despite those first two acts, the “folk” festival isn’t just Americana. Folk music covers the traditional song and dance of any culture. A good example is Nukariik, a duo that performs Innuit throat singing as well as Hawaiian guitar masters Ledward Ka’apana and Mike Kaawa. 

    Aside from music, attendees will also be given a glimpse into other traditions, like art and, best of all, food.  

    The Richmond Folk Festival also recently announced the theme for the 2008 MWV Virginia Folklife Area.  Entitled New Neighbors: Common Ground in the Commonwealth, it will explore Virginia’s immigrant culture through the artistry, creativity and community life of new immigrants, highlighting artistic achievement, deeply-held cultural expressions and cross-cultural communication.  New Neighbors: Common Ground in the Commonwealth explores a number of  traditions – covering a range that extends from the religious traditions of Mexican, Mongolian, and Guatemalan artists to the social musics of Sudan and Indonesia and from the dance costumes of Cambodia and Bolivia to the food ways of Czech, Slovak and German immigrants.

    The Richmond Folk Festival will also feature a Traditional Craft Marketplace with more than 20 artisans selling a variety of hand-crafted arts from quilting, lace making, pottery and basketry to furniture creation, instrument making and wood carving.   The Ethnic Food Court offers festival goers foods from around the world such as West African, Greek, German, Indian, Thai, Caribbean, and Oriental, along with traditional festival foods for those wary of unique tastes.

    Richmond Folk Festival is keeping the best tradition of all … it’s free. That’s right — seven stages, over 30 performing groups, access to folk life marketplaces and ethnic foods, all for no admission cost. 

    So, there’s going to be music, from country to Inuit throat singing, and artisans from the dead to the delicious, and just about everything in between.

     

    This has only scratched the surface of what the Richmond Folk Festival is going to have to offer. Be sure to check the Richmond Folk Festival website for further updates

     

    Parking and directions

     

     

    A Community Effort
    Last year more than 1200 people volunteered their time last year to the National Folk Festival, coming from all across Virginia and even as far as Maine and Canada.  More than 25 local businesses and community organizations gave sponsorship dollars to pay for this 1.4 million dollar event, which assured FREE admission to attendees. Without this support, this great event would never happen.

     

    Volunteers are still needed click here to find out what you can help with

     

    Richmond Folk Festival Sponsors, Please thank them for their generous contributions :: Ukrop’s/First Market Bank | Wachovia / Wachovia Securities | Genworth Foundation | Dominion | Comcast | NewMarket | The Community Foundation | SunTrust | Philip Morris USA | Richmond Times-Dispatch | MWV | CapitalOne | Loveland Distributing Co | City of Richmond | Children’s Museum of Richmond | National Council for the Traditional Arts | Alcoa Foundation | 93 Octane | JHI | JAMinc. | House of Hayes | SIR | Graphics Gallery | WRVA 1140 | NBC 12 | 102.1 the X | Lite 98 | Q94 | Sports Radio 910 | WCVE | Plan 9 Music |GRTC Transit System | T.F.C. Recycling