Tudhope Park played host to the 57th annual Mariposa Folk Festival on July 7th – 9th. The Mariposa Folk Festival showcased Canada’s heritage, cultures and talents all with an emphasis on community engagement. Over 100 artists performed on 11 different stages at this year’s festival including headliners Ruth B and the Barenaked Ladies. It is estimated that 25 000 people will have visited this festival over the course of the weekend
There were two unique aspects about this festival that I have yet see at any event this size. This first was that this event was run entirely by volunteers. Over 500 people donated their time to make this event possible. Secondly, like many other festivals there was a large, open grassy area in front of the main stage, and the Mariposa Folk Festival was no different. However, what was different about this festival was that the thousands of people that were present had brought their own lawn chairs and created their own assigned seating based on arrival. It was amazing to see how the crowd cooperated to create a casual viewing experience that resembled a private backyard concert.
The Mariposa Folk Festival provided us with our first opportunity to see the Barenaked Ladies live and I sincerely hope that it was not the last. Although for many, this may have been the pinnacle of the festival, the highlight of my weekend was seeing Ruth B perform live. Her stage presence was incredible and through multiple performances she really engaged the crowd. This was one of the few sets of the evening that got the audience out of their lawn chairs to dance, myself included.
Overall, the 2017 Mariposa Folk Festival was an amazing event and is definitely one you do not want to miss next summer.