BANGOR – While the American Folk Festival has a lot of fun activities for the family to enjoy, a lot went into making it happen.
For 16 years, The American Folk Festival has brought tens of thousands of people to the Bangor Waterfront.
“It’s such a huge event it’s become such a tradition for Bangor and we love being a part of it,” said Christina Bustard, the general manager of the Holiday Inn.
For its first three years, it used to be the National Folk Festival but Bangor wanted to continue the tradition. People travel from all over the world for this three day event.
“That’s the best part – that’s what the staff is excited about,” said Bustard, “They get to meet so many people from around the world, different cultures – that’s the best part of it.”
The Festival has a huge economic impact on the region. Restaurants and hotels have to prepare weeks in advance for the Festival.
“They’re ready to go and they are looking forward to it,” said Chris Morley, the owner of Mason’s Brewing Company.
Culture isn’t the only thing bringing people to the Waterfront. One of the main draws is the live music and of course, the food.
“We love the music, the people are great to get along with,” said Ed Sutter, a visitor from Texas, “You get to be up close and personal with the musicians – you can talk to them and sit with them and we certainly love that aspect of it and the food they have is pretty darn good also.”
“This year actually for the first time ever, The American Folk Festival has landed on the Conde Nast must do events for 2017,” said Kerrie Tripp, the executive director of Greater Bangor CVB.
Which is drawing even more people to the event.
“We had so many people walking through our doors looking for things to do and information about the American Folk Festival,” said Tripp, “It really is this great economic generator for the whole region.”
“We see a tremendous push on the Waterfront with people just mingling, you know walk from the Brewer side to the Bangor side and vise versa,” said
For some of the vendors, it’s where they gain the biggest profit.
“Everything in Bangor is tied with each other, it’s like a Jenga Puzzle,” said Lee Speronis, the president of the Parish Council at St. George Greek Orthodox Church, “Nothing survive without each piece.”