Bringing Your Visitors to Your American Folk Festival

Do you have visitors coming to Maine this Summer? In-laws? Cousins? Long-lost friends? Parents? Well, look no further than the Bangor waterfront for the perfect place to bring them for the weekend of August 28, 29 and 30! That’s when a worldwide block party will be present, spread along the shores of the Penobscot with the American Folk Festival!

My first question is … are they new to music festivals? Or have they been going for awhile, but you are pretty sure they could be more comfortable while at the festival? I mean come on … they are family, right!?

Regardless of their music festival prowess … these ten things are absolute must-haves, especially for weekend festivals like ours.

1. Sunblock        

SunWe all know the dangers of UV rays, and at most festivals—including the American Folk Festival – we are very exposed to them. You don’t want the in-laws burnt now, and you certainly don’t want to be blamed for skin cancer later, so lather them up. Consider the sport spray-on sunblock; they can put it on themselves without having to ask for help with the hard-to-reach areas, and it won’t sweat off in the summer heat. Remember, reapply every few hours!

2. Headlamp

HeadlampAre your in-laws the type that wear fanny – packs … if so they will embrace the headlamp!

These convenient flashlights strap around your head on an elastic band and are invaluable for nighttime Porta-John trips, walking to the next tent full of music and all sorts of other things.

3. Toilet Paper

LS016172No one ever wants to talk about this, but it’s a great idea to keep some TP in your purse or fanny-pack! Sometimes Porta-Johns run out of toilet paper … and even when they have paper, it might be running low.

4. Baby Wipes

wipesNot just for babies any more, wet wipes can keep your in-laws feeling fresh as a daisy even after many, many hours in the heat! These are also great for wiping hands before digging into all the amazing food at the American Folk Festival! They will not go hungry. Encouraging them to eat at the Festival will cut down on dishes at home … it’s a win-win!

5. First Aid Kit

First AidThe American Folk Festival will have great first aid services available and an ambulance on call. So if something major happens to your in-laws, there will be people to take care of them. However, they often don’t dispense headache medicine, and sometimes it’s more hassle than it’s worth to get a simple band-aid, so make yourself a note ahead of time to build them a simple first-aid kit. They’ll love you!

6. Cameracamera

You can’t let them come to the American Folk Festival without a camera! If you’re worried about their expensive digital camera and you know they are not great photographer anyway, give them a few disposable cameras with the first-aid kit and they’ll be set.

7. Bottled Water and Sports Drinks

bottled waterThe in-laws are welcome to bring their own water – but it gets heavy and warm. Let them know they can bring water and we will have lots available for them to purchase as well.

Remember, if they tend to perspire heavily, it’s important to keep the minerals (salt, calcium, potassium, etc.) replenished as well, so electrolyte-rich sports drinks are a good choice, too. Heat exhaustion is serious business, so make sure they are prepared.

8. Folding Chairs

chairAt some point, they’re going to want to sit down in one place and hear some music. The folding canvas chairs with carrying bags are the best, comfy and easy to carry.

9. Backpack

backpackThey can carry about everything they need in a backpack. Encourage them to use a back pack rather than purse; it will be easier on their backs! Keep the stuff they’re carrying to a minimum and a backpack should provide them with more than enough space.


10. And finally … What NOT to bring – THE FAMILY DOG! Dog

Leave Rover at home in the shade with his bowl of nice cold water!

Have fun and we’ll see your in-laws cuttin’ a rug, on the dance floor in the Dance Tent!

A train passes through the American Folk Festival in downtown Bangor in 2012. (Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN)

A train passes through the American Folk Festival in downtown Bangor in 2012. (Linda Coan O’Kresik | BDN)