Folk fest’s ‘positive vibe’ attracts thousands (6 photos)

‘If the hippie vibe is easy going with a bit of ganja in the air, then this is it,’ quipped attendee who is enjoying camping at this year’s festival at Tudhope Park

The vibe at the Mariposa Folk Festival is unmatched anywhere else, according to those who faithfully flock to the popular event at Tudhope Park. It’s partly why this year’s three-day star-studded event is sold out.

There are many elements that combine to create that vibe.

According to festival goers, the unique Volkswagen vans found in the jam-packed campground, the family-friendly feel, the wide range in age of attendees, the eclectic variety of smells and offerings from the food and craft vendors, combined with the unbridled excitement from music fans from all over the country all play a role in the event’s atmosphere.

Genevieve Hamilton traveled from Pembroke to enjoy the festival this weekend with her parents, Cory and Lucy Alyea. She was surprised to get such a good sleep Friday night in the makeshift campground at Tudhope Park.

“It’s not too loud, the grounds are level, the grass is clean, and the facilities were all working,” she said. “People are respectful of everybody’s space and seem to be cleaning up after themselves.”

Hamilton says the atmosphere in the campground has been helpful. Fellow campers have even been going around to make sure that everyone is all topped up with fresh water.

This is the first time Hamilton has experienced the Folk Festival and its ‘hippie vibe.’

“If the hippie vibe is easy going with a bit of ganja in the air, then this is it,” she chuckled.

Lisa Haffner, her husband Sven, and young daughters Betty and Heidi are camping out of their Volkswagen van this weekend. They traveled from Angus for the festival and are having an “awesome” first-time experience.

The Haffners have had their “hippie van” for five years now. When they were looking for a traditional family vehicle, they thought it would be a good idea to buy something “cool.”

“It’s awesome seeing all the other vans here,” Haffner said. “We’ve seen a few people here that we’ve seen at other bus events, too.”

Haffner says she is impressed with how family-friendly the environment is at the festival.

“We definitely feel comfortable here,” she said. “I was apprehensive about it before coming here and now I see that it’s very kid-friendly.”

Haffner says the event is unique.

“It’s not like a big festival where you feel like you need to be watching your stuff,” she said. “Everybody looks out for each other, it’s really neat that way.”

Shawn Adler of The Flying Chestnut Kitchen is cooking up Indigenous “powwow-styled” tacos this weekend. The Eugenia food vendor has been at Mariposa for the past eight festivals.

“This is a great folk festival,” he said. “It’s one of the best in Ontario.”

Adler says there is a “positive vibe” at the festival that keeps them coming back every year.

“They have diverse foods here which is integral to the atmosphere,” he said. “It’s important for there to be a lot of options here. The food vendors help create the entire ambience.”

Adler says the Mariposa Folk Festival is one of the busiest festivals they attend.

“It’s really well run,” he said. “It’s really well organized, we love being here, and every year the music is great.”

The festival opened last night. Click here to read about the opening evening of this year’s event.

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