Folk Music Festival Draws Art, Crafts, and Crowds

Summerfest Crowds Bask in Summer’s Best Weather
By Don Cuddy

Rebcca and Megan Lovell , 2 members of the Lovell Sisters perform during Summerfest in New Bedford. (Photo by David W. Oliveira/Standard-Times special)

NEW BEDFORD— With a cruise ship in port, the Cape Verdean parade marching down Union Street on Sunday morning and Summerfest taking over the historic district, downtown was the place to be this weekend. And the crowds responded. The downtown streets were thronged with people on Sunday with many cars parking on the grass strip next to Route 18 beneath the Route 6 overpass.
“It’s been a perfect weekend,” said Ann Marie Lopes, city tourism director. “The parade was fun, and with the food, all the music and crafts at Summerfest and the great weather we’ve had, it all came together.” Folk musician John Gorka, one of the festival’s headliners, was playing New Bedford for the fourth time, he said.
“I love how the stages are set up right downtown and you can discover people just by walking by. And the programming is so great; the way they put traditional and contemporary folk together.”
Alan and Helene Korolenko, who are responsible for programming and for booking the performers, were extremely pleased with this year’s festival.
“Musically, I think this has been one of the best years we’ve had,” Alan Korolenko said as he watched fans scoop up music CDs from a booth in front of the Custom House. “And the attendance seem to be very healthy also.”
Folk music fan Britt Goodman travelled to New Bedford for Summerfest from Naugatuck, Conn. “I really enjoy coming here,” she said. “I think this festival is just the right size. It’s a very intimate setting and you get to meet the performers.”
But for some of those at the festival it wasn’t all play. Joel Cosmo was busy hand-cutting french fries in the seafood tent at Custom House Square, where lines of people waited for fried scallops and fish and chips.
“We’ve gone through close to 1,500 pounds of potatoes so far,” he said on Sunday afternoon, “but we seem to be keeping everyone happy.”
July 06, 2009
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