Monday, October 19, 2009

Toe-Tapping Fiddling Delights Festival Crowd in Springwater


“The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Music”. No, not the Swiss Alps of the classic movie, “The Sound of Music”, but the hills of East Springwater, New York, were bursting with melody last Saturday at the Fiddler’s Fair and American Crafts Show at Sugarbush Hollow Farm.
Sunny blue skies with warm temperatures brought out a crowd of over one thousand people to the first such event held there. The proceeds will benefit the development of Springwater parks and trails.
One group of musicians after another on the farmhouse porch kept the toe-tapping going all day long, and many folks were content to listen from underneath the shaded tent or sprawled out on a nearby slope.
Those who were anxious for more activity followed the trail up into the hills. Everywhere you hiked on the sprawling Sugarbush surrounded by lush maple trees, you would hear the strumming of a banjo or the distinct tones of a violin before you came upon a musician or two sitting on a log playing to an audience stopped to take in the music.
One such musician was Dick Campbell from Ossian who was playing his homemade banjo made from the recycled parts of a used frying pan and an upright piano. He was a left-handed player, and designed his instrument to accommodate.
Mini-reunions were taking place everywhere you looked, and more than once you noticed introductions of old friends to new ones. Small groups of people clustered in animated conversation near the artisans’ tents and in line for gourmet snacks.
A couple accordionists, including Roger Kornbau from Wayland, informally entertained the people in the food tent, and provided good photographic opportunities as well, because those instruments were antiques in their own right!
It was an event to show off one’s very best country outfit, and both men and women sported smart looking hats well worth a second glance. Musicians donned the festival’s official red hats, and added to the colorful atmosphere.
Here’s hoping that this is the first of many fiddler’s festivals at Sugarbush Hollow Farm in the years to come!