Folklore Village Festival Celebrates the Season’s Traditions

Folklore Village announces the 72nd Annual Festival of Christmas and Midwinter Traditions Dec. 28-Jan. 1. The festival week is filled with music, dance, crafts, theater, food and celebrations of tradition and community, built around a few core cultural themes. This year’s themes are Mexican and Latin American culture and Slavic and Balkan culture.
Headlining the Mexican cultural offerings at this festival is Gayle Armstrong, a Texas-based teacher of Mexican and Latin American folk and social dance. Gayle leads dance workshops throughout the festival week on redova (norteño dance), Santa Rita polka, merengue, wepa and huapango, corrido and salsa. On Dec. 29, we host a craft workshop on papel picado, an afternoon service of a Mexican hot chocolate beverage called champurrado with traditional pan dulce pastries, a catered Mexican dinner, and an evening party featuring Madison-based mariachi band Trio Son de México.
Headlining the Slavic and Balkan side of the festival are Sarah Jagoda Larsson and Sarina Partridge, vocal instructors and performers from the Twin Cities who specialize in Jewish and Slavic polyphonic singing from Eastern Europe. Sarah and Sarina will be leading vocal workshops throughout the festival week. The festival also features craft workshops on pysanky (Slavic egg decorating on Dec. 29) and on Polish paper ornament making (Dec. 30). Michael Kuharski, a Balkan folk dancer and producer of the Madison Folk Ball, joins us on Dec. 30 for a Balkan dance workshop. Later that evening, we enjoy a Polish Wigilia-style catered dinner followed by a Balkan-themed party led by Michael Kuharski and Sarah and Sarina, who perform as Nanilo.
Other festival highlights include a community embroidery project, nature crafts, English country dancing, cultural meals and afternoon teas, and a unique New Year’s Eve party on the theme “Future Folk.” For more information and to register, visit www.folklorevillage.org or call (608) 924-4000. Please note that pre-registration is required, and contact us by Dec. 13 to take advantage of early-bird prices. Need-based and work-exchange scholarships are available to offset festival costs, so don’t hesitate to inquire.