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North Carolina Folk Festival To Bring International, Local Talent To The Stage

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Greensboro is getting ready for another big folk music festival this weekend, but it's not the National Folk Festival, it's the inaugural North Carolina Folk Festival.

During its three year residency in Greensboro, the National Folk Festival featured acts like country singer Kenny Waldon and the Chinese string ensemble Ann Yao Trio on multiple stages around downtown.

The national festival has moved on to Salisbury, Maryland.

Now local organizers want to keep the musical party going in downtown Greensboro. And that's exactly what they will do from Sept. 7 through Sept. 9.

"I think our hope is that we will build on that success of the National Folk Festival and maybe even also try to inflect more North Carolina character," North Carolina Folk Festival Director, Amy Grossmann said.

North Carolina talent like Rhiannon Giddens and Connie Steadman are set to perform this weekend.

Grossmann also wants festival-goers to be exposed to different musical genres like they were at the national event.

"I also think that culturally it's really important for us to be showcasing performance traditions from around the world," she said.

This year's festival will include afro-Puerto Rican band Viento de Agua and Haitian singer Wesli.

Last year the National Folk Festival brought in $7 million in direct expenditures, according to Grossmann.

Business was good for vendors like Shana Paccadolmi who participated in the festival all three years. She's the owner of the Greensboro franchise for Kona Ice—a mobile shaved ice business.

On a recent evening when Paccadolmi wasn't too busy, she spoke with her customers about the upcoming festival.

"I tell everyone who comes up to the truck to go to that event," she said. "It's good for the community. I mean Greensboro doesn't really do anything on that scale."

Paccadolmi said this year she's looking forward to participating in the North Carolina Folk Festival.

"It's not about how great we do or great we don't do," she said. "It's more about being a part of a community event. We'll do fine either way but we'd be a part of it regardless."

The festival begins Thursday evening with a ticketed event. The free events begin Friday at 6 p.m. and will last until Sunday at 6 p.m.

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