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MEDIA ADVISORY: May 22, 2012

CONTACT: Andrea Thomas, (386) 397-4478


~Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park will celebrate Florida music, dance, food, crafts and history~

Folk Festival

Families of all sizes gather around folk music festivities during the 2011 Florida Folk Festival.  

WHITE SPRINGS – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service will host the 60th Annual Florida Folk Festival May 25-27 at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park. Opening ceremonies will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 25 on the banks of the Suwannee River. Headlining this year’s festivities will be Florida’s own superstars John Anderson, Billy Dean and Florida favorite Arlo Guthrie; plus hundreds of folk music legends from throughout the Sunshine State.
The story of John Anderson and his platinum-plus album, Seminole Wind, is the story of the country music "come-back" of the decade. His memorable hits from that musical era included Wild and Blue, I'm Just An Old Chunk Of Coal, Black Sheep and Swingin', which was more recently cited by the A.M.O.A. as one of its all-time top-forty jukebox hits--right up there with Hey Jude and other perennial favorites by The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Patsy Cline, George Jones, and The Rolling Stones.
A native of Quincy, Florida, Billy Dean moved to Nashville in 1983, where he recorded his first top five country music hit Only Here For A Little While. Since then, Dean has earned several awards and made appearances on numerous television shows and made-for TV movies. In 2001, Dean began his own publishing company, Billy Dean Music Group. Dean is also a spokesperson for Averitt Cares For Kids and Sunkist’s Take A Stand Program.
Arlo Guthrie is the eldest son of America's beloved singer/writer/philosopher Woody Guthrie and Marjorie Mazia Guthrie, a professional dancer with the Martha Graham Company and founder of The Committee to Combat Huntington's Disease. His success began in 1967 with the release of "Alice's Restaurant," whose title song premiered at the Newport Folk Festival.Guthrie has toured throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia over the last few decades. HIs musical talents include playing the piano, six and twelve-string guitar, harmonica and a dozen other instruments. He is also heard on "This Land is Your Land" alongside the voice of his father, Woody Guthrie. The album has won several awards including a 1997 Grammy nomination as "Best Musical Album for Children."
Additional featured performers include Ben Prestage, Hannah Dean, Rachel Carrick, Bob Patterson & Friends, The Young & The Old String Band, Clyde Walker, Amy Carol Webb, Frank Thomas, Doug Gauss and more.
Folk artists and tradition-bearers presented each year in the Folklife Area reflect research and field documentation conducted by the Florida Department of State’s Folklife Program. The 2012 Folklife Area celebrates the diverse cultures of the inland counties of West Florida’s Panhandle. 
Since 1953, folk artists have come together for this event. One of the oldest state folk festivals in America will continue a grand tradition of celebrating Florida’s land, people and diverse cultural heritage. With more than 300 performances by Florida’s greatest folk and roots artists, including national recording artists, songwriters and musicians of swing, folk, blues, gospel, country, Latin, jazz, bluegrass, Caribbean and zydeco music, it is truly an event not to be missed.
For more information, please visit www.FloridaFolkFestival.com or www.floridastateparks.org/stephenfoster.
The Festival will take place:

Friday, May 25 – Sunday, May 27, 2012

Gates open daily at 10 a.m.

Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park

11016 Lillian Saunders Drive

White Springs, Florida 32096