The “positive mood” of the folk festival attracts thousands (6 photos)

“If the hippie vibe with a bit of ganja in the air is easy, this is it,” quipped one attendee who enjoys camping at this year’s festival in Tudhope Park

The vibe at the Mariposa Folk Festival is second to none, say those who faithfully flock to the popular Tudhope Park event. That’s partly why this year’s three-day star-studded event sold out.

There are many elements that come together to create this atmosphere.

According to festival-goers, the unique Volkswagen vans that can be found at the crowded campsite, the family-friendly atmosphere, the wide age range of participants, the eclectic variety of smells and offerings from the food and craft vendors, combined with the unbridled excitement of music fans from the across the country all contribute to the atmosphere of the event.

Genevieve Hamilton has traveled from Pembroke to enjoy this weekend’s festival with her parents Cory and Lucy Alyea. She was surprised to have slept so well Friday night at the makeshift campsite in Tudhope Park.

“It’s not too noisy, the terrain is level, the grass is clean and the facilities all work,” she said. “People respect everyone’s space and seem to be cleaning up after themselves.”

Hamilton says the atmosphere at the campsite has been helpful. Fellow campers even walked around to make sure everyone was topped up with fresh water.

This is Hamilton’s first experience of the folk festival and its ‘hippie vibe’.

“If the hippie vibe with a bit of ganja in the air is easy, then this is it,” she giggled.

Lisa Haffner, her husband Sven and young daughters Betty and Heidi are camping out of their Volkswagen van this weekend. They’ve traveled from Angus for the festival and are having a ‘fantastic’ first time experience.

The Haffners have had their “hippie van” for five years. When they were looking for a traditional family vehicle, they thought it would be a good idea to buy something “cool”.

“It’s great to see all the other vans here,” said Haffner. “We saw some people here that we’ve seen at other bus events.”

Haffner is impressed by the festival’s family-friendliness.

“We definitely feel at home here,” she says. “I had concerns before coming here and now I see that it’s very kid friendly.”

Haffner says the event is unique.

“It’s not like a big festival where you feel like you have to watch your stuff,” she said. “Everyone takes care of each other, that’s really neat.”

Shawn Adler of The Flying Chestnut Kitchen is cooking up powwow-style indigenous tacos this weekend. Food vendor Eugenia has been to Mariposa for the last eight festivals.

“It’s a great festival,” he said. “It’s one of the best in Ontario.”

Adler says there’s a “positive vibe” at the festival that keeps her coming back year after year.

“They have different foods here that are an integral part of the atmosphere,” he said. “It is important that there are many opportunities here. The food vendors help create the overall ambiance.”

Adler says the Mariposa Folk Festival is one of the busiest festivals they attend.

“It’s managed really well,” he said. “It’s really well organised, we love being here and the music is great every year.”

The festival opened last night. Click here to find out more about the opening night of this year’s event.

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