September 6, 2018

Vibrant Array of Family Area Activities and Performances

Dance crew at the folk festival

The National Folk Festival will feature a special interactive area with hands-on crafts, quiet games and active games, and other creative learning activities for young audiences and their families. The Family Stage, located within the Family Area, showcases a variety of performances, including storytelling, puppetry, and interactive music and dance. Both the Family Area and stage are open from noon – 5:00pm on Saturday, September 8 and Sunday, September 9.

The Family Area and Stage is generously sponsored by the Pohanka Automotive Group with additional funding provided by the Maryland Heritage Area Authority.

“We are so excited to be able to offer our youngest festival goers free, fun and engaging activities,” says Caroline O’Hare, local manager for the National Folk Festival “From Junior Ranger badges, to rain stick making, to learning how to beatbox – this area is going to bring a smile to every child’s face – and their parents too.”

The Pohanka Auto Family Stage featured performances include:

Sounds of Korea – Korean music and dance
(New York, New York)
Dressed in exquisite traditional attire, Sounds of Korea performs powerful ritual drumming, lush music, and expressive dances that offer a window into the heart of Korean culture.

Greenbelt S.I.T.Y. Stars – precision jump rope team
(Greenbelt, Maryland)
Greenbelt S.I.T.Y. Stars is a champion precision jump rope team with flashy moves, agility, speed, style, and a positive message that encourages kids to get involved.

Jeghetto – puppetry
(Chapel Hill, North Carolina)
Master puppeteer Jeghetto handcrafts astonishing, 21st-century puppets from recycled materials that kids of all ages will want to meet: breakdancing androids, dinosaurs, dreadlocked cellists, and a cast of others

The Red Trouser Show – circus arts
(Wilton, New Hampshire)
The Red Trouser Show is a dynamic street circus duo that combines acrobatics with daring feats and nonstop laughs, and performs a breathtaking finale ending high in the air, all with a little help from audience members.

Nukariik – Inuit throat singing
(Ottawa, Ontario)
Nukariik are two friends who perform Inuit throat singing, a rarely heard traditional vocal game from the Arctic regions. The singers blend their breath and voiced sounds to create playful, rhythmic melodies and imitations of sounds in nature

Dancing On Air Crew – b-boying
(Charleston, South Carolina)
The b-boying Dancing On Air Crew executes gravity-defying head spins, twirling windmills, and rapid-fire footwork that are the hallmarks of this exciting hip hop dance style.

The Chankas of Perú – Andean scissors dance
(Port Chester, New York)
The Chankas of Perú carry on the danza de las tijeras (scissors dance), an ancient, highly acrobatic indigenous ritual dance from the southern Andes of Peru.

Family Area Activities include:


  • Build a rainstick, an ancient percussion instrument that makes a sound like falling rain, and then decorate it with your own art work.
  • Make your own harmonica in a few simple steps out of popsicle sticks, straws and rubber bands.
  • Assemble your own colonial “whirligig” toy with buttons and string.
  • Pick your favorite color of yarn and make a traditional yarn doll.
  • Carve a soap duck decoy using family-safe utensils—the perfect introduction to a deep Delmarva tradition.
  • Gyotaku (Fish Printing) is a traditional method used by Japanese fishermen to record their catches; make your own fish print using rubber fish replicas.
  • Make paper quilt squares that help “stitch together” the things that make us Maryland.


Help to create a collaborative art work that will be displayed year-round in the new Pemberton Park Community Garden.


Discover what kids did for fun before videogames! Learn how to play marbles, and test your “shooting” abilities; the shooter with the most marbles at the end wins. Watch a demonstration of clay marbles and see how the game was played in the 19th century. Play human foosball – the life-size remake of the table game version invented in the early 1900s. Kids and adults form two teams and compete in a friendly, fun match. Try your hand at cornhole, a bean-bag tossing game that has been popular for over 100 years.


Learn all about bees and other pollinators. See the bees in action in a self-contained hive. Make butterflies with colorful wings out of coffee filters, a paper straw, and pipe cleaners. Did you know that butterflies can taste with their feet? Which flowers do butterflies, bees and hummingbirds like best? Learn their secrets, and then match the pollinators with their favorite flowers using cutouts on a stand-up board. Visit the pollinator garden with flowers for all the pollinators, plus the plants that caterpillars need to eat. Find out how to attract pollinators to your own backyard!

STORY TIME and WAGGLE DANCE (pre-school)

An interactive story that highlights Salisbury as a National Bee City. Make and sing songs and learn the bee “waggle dance.”


Earn your official National Park Service Junior Ranger badge by completing an activity booklet about the Underground Railroad (for all ages). Get “sworn in” at special pledge ceremonies on the Family Stage.

Join in hands-on activities focused on Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad with historian Tony Cohen. A fourth-generation descendant of a runaway slave, Cohen is a noted explorer of the American slavery experience who retraced the Underground Railroad by foot in an epic, two-month-long journey, and had himself shipped inside a wooden crate like Virginia fugitive Henry “Box” Brown. Try your hand at the chores that Harriet and other children had to perform on a 19th-century Eastern Shore plantation. Gain a tactile understanding of the skills and knowledge she acquired during slavery that helped her succeed in her heroic endeavors. Tony Cohen’s participation is sponsored by Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park.


Meet animal ambassadors from the Salisbury Zoo when they visit (1:30 – 3:30 p.m. daily – Saturday & Sunday).


  • Learn how to beatbox from Shodekeh.
  • Pick up some cool blues dance moves from Junious Brickhouse.
  • Try some awesome Jewish stunts and dances with Steve Weintraub.

Special thanks to our Family Area Partners:

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park and State Park; National Park Service; HISTORIO; Salisbury Art Space; Salisbury Zoo; Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Salisbury University; University of Maryland Extension; Wicomico County Recreation, Parks and Tourism; Wicomico Public Libraries.

For more information about the Family Area & Stage visit:

The Maryland Folk Festival | Salisbury, MD is produced by

In Partnership with