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Folkfaces Fest is four days of music, dance, workshops

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Folkfaces Fest is four days of music, dance, workshops

Folkfaces will headline the Folkfaces Fest at Cherry Hill Campground in Darien Center.

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Tyler Westcott, 29,threwhimself a birth-day party about six years ago. He invited all of the musicians he could to come camp in his mom's backyard. They made food and played for one another the entire weekend.

Little did Westcott know that it was the start of what has become the annual Folkfaces Fest, named for the band he founded. It returns today to Sunday at the Cherry Hill Campground in Darien Center, where it has been based since its second year.

This year's lineup features bands from around the world. Archer, the "Old Time Sing Song Man," is coming all the way from Australia. The Resonant Rogues from North Carolina will add some old-time traveling folk music. The Canadian duo, The Ever-Lovin' Jug Band, is one of Westcott's favorites. Several local bands such as the festival's namesake Folkfaces and 12/8 Path Band will also perform.

And there's more than music. There's a tent for kids, plus common camping activities such as volleyball, horseshoes, tetherball and hiking. Morning yoga starts at 11 a.m. in the Sly Boots Tent from Friday to Sunday.

Workshops include songwriting hosted by Westcott, African drumming with Griffin Brady, plus singing, banjo and fiddle. Swing dance and zydeco dance lessons are offered throughout the weekend.

A square dance will be held with the Buffalo Bluegrass Allstars. "This session will be suitable for festival attendees of all ages and skill levels, from beginner up - no prior dance experience or dance partner necessary," said fiddle and mandolin player, Sally Schaefer.

Rick Schaefer will call the square dance and walk everyone through a handful of basic steps and then move into more traditional dances throughout the evening.

"This is a great way to get a taste for traditional square dancing, meet and greet other festival attendees, boost your daily step count while listening to a spirited mix of traditional tunes, and have fun," Sally Schaefer added.

A film fest will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, followed by a midnight movie on Friday and Saturday. There will be a hot dog eating contest to match the theme of "Denim and Dogs" along with other "glizzy games."

Westcott will be collecting clothing (gently used winter coats, unopened bags of socks, hats and gloves) and non-perishable food donations for the Friends of Night People, a local homeless shelter and soup kitchen.

"You may not know most of the acts," Wescott said, "but you'll walk away with ten new favorite bands - I promise."

FOLKFACES FEST

Starts at noon today and continues through Sunday at Cherry Hill Campground, 1516 Sumner Road, Darien Center. Single-day tickets at the gate are $30 for today; $50 for Friday or Saturday; $45 for Sunday. There is a $5 discount if you order in advance (eventbrite.com). A weekend pass is $130 at the gate. There are limited campsite spots available with a three-night minimum stay.

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