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American Folk Festival set to begin second decade on Bangor Waterfront

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BANGOR The 2012 American Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront is set to take place Aug. 24-26 with another diverse set of music, crafts, food and demonstrations.

"The first 10 years of this festival have exceeded the expectations of just about everyone," said American Folk Festival Executive Director Heather McCarthy. "We are looking forward to seeing what the next ten years will bring for performers, craftspeople, visitors and memories."

This year's performer lineup includes more than 16 groups, performing the traditional arts of their region, their culture and their heritage. Western swing, blues, bluegrass, Franco, Cajun, Irish, Scottish Pipe and Drum, Lakota Hoop Dance, Gospel, Doo Wop and Tamburitza are a few of the styles of music that will be present at the 2012 American Folk Festival.

'The American Folk Festival has a number of attractions, but every year people talk about the music,' said John Rohman, chair of the 2012 American Folk Festival. 'We are particularly excited about this year's lineup not just because of the quality, but because of the diversity. We are also excited about the fact that some of the artists will be performing at venues in Downtown Bangor on Thursday night, before the festival officially kicks off.'

The American Folk Festival has developed a "Thursday Night Footlights" concert series new for 2012, giving a "sneak peek" into performances in a more intimate setting at venues throughout Downtown Bangor. For its inaugural year, the Thursday Night Footlights series will feature Marquise Knox (blues) at Hollywood Casino, Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIsaac (Cape Breton) at Paddy Murphy's and The Marshall Ford Swing Band (Western Swing) in the Cool Sounds Concert in Pickering Square.

In addition to music, dozens of food vendors including regional specialties, ethnic foods and festival favorites will be set up in the middle of the festival grounds. The Folk Arts Marketplace will feature unique, handcrafted items including baskets, woven runs, leather goods, herbal products, jewelry, pottery, wood carvings and more. The American Folk Festival will once again present exhibits and demonstrations from some of Maine's traditional crafts, with the 2012 theme focusing on The Maine Outdoors. The children's area returns to the festival with a unique opportunity for kids to learn about different cultures and locations through the use of an American Folk Festival "Passport." And the festival's live music will take place on four stages throughout Bangor's Penobscot Riverfront, including the tented Dance Pavilion and the Railroad Stage, the site's largest venue.

For a complete listing of performers, vendors or more information on the American Folk Festival, visit www.americanfolkfestival.com.

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