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Folklife Festival

Saturday, June 24, 2017 at 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The Sandy Spring Folklife Festival is a family-friendly event that includes a wide variety of music, notable traditional arts, and a sampling of different foodways, celebrating the diversity of the wider community.


  • Turkish Folk Music Group performs folk and classical songs from many of Turkey’s diverse regions. Members play the seven-string saz, the oud (an Arabic lute,) and different percussion instruments.
  • Alexander Lagoda performs on the bandura, an ancient handmade Ukrainian stringed instrument.
  • Caminito Amigo teaches a simple, elegant salon-style of Argentine tango.
  • El Pulgarcito Colores de Mi Tierra USA consists of a diverse cast of dancers including children, young people, men and women, mostly Salvadorans, sharing the National Folk Dance of El Salvador.
  • SPIV-Zhyttya/Living.in.SONG will share folk and traditional songs derived from their rich Ukrainian heritage.
  • Bluegrass Jam, Discussion and Q&A –  A small group of seasoned, acoustic musicians will demonstrate the basics of a bluegrass jam and answer questions from festival participants. Musicians include John and Dave Hartge, Mary Burdette, and others.
  • Tayna Melamed, a graduate from the prestigious Odessa Conservatory of Music, performs on piano and guitar.


  • Naan Stop DC offers familiar Indian cuisine into made-to-order platters with offerings such as basmati rice, naan, chicken tikka, samosas, chutney and grilled veggies.
  • Sandy Spring Sand Tarts.  Enjoy old-fashioned lemonade and sample a traditional local cookie, the Sandy Spring sand tart.
  • Ukrainian Food Demonstration of varenyki, which are dumplings stuffed with cheese, potatoes, meats and fried onions, and holubci, cabbage leaves rolled with rice filling and sometimes meat.
  • Arkibuna: Arki means satisfaction, and buna means coffee, which is what you will experience with this high-quality Ethiopian coffee.


  • Ukrainian traditional art, such as petrykivka (a style of painting) and pysanka (painted eggs), has found its way in world museums and art institutions. This gallery will host a number of display, activities and food from the Ukrainian throughout the festival.
  • Understanding Ramadan offers opportunities to understand more about Islamic practices, cultural traditions and beliefs held by our Muslim neighbors.
  • Sheep/Wool Exhibit. From shearing sheep and spinning wool to dying yarn, this display will show how the material goes from insulation on an animal’s back to a sweater on yours. Caroline Hussman has a local flock that she breeds for their wool.  She is training the next generation in the practice of sheep farming.


  • Basketry Exhibit.  Kathleen Beauchesne from the Center for Research in Basketry will be on hand to talk about basketry traditions and show examples from the Sandy Spring Museum’s collection during the festival. The Center researches and documents basket-making traditions in the mid-Atlantic. Bring your own baskets to the event to be part of this innovative project that is identifying Native American, African American, watermen, and utilitarian basket from the region.
  • Islamic Traditions Exhibit provides visitors opportunities to learn more about the various Islamic practices, cultural traditions and beliefs held by the area’s Muslim population.
  • Pedro Huamani uses his creativity and inventiveness to give new beauty, more depth and value to the art of the ancient American drawing inspiration from pre-Inca civilizations.
  • Henna has been used since antiquity to dye skin, hair and fingernails and fabrics, creating intricate and beautiful designs.  A plant-based paste is prepared then applied as temporary body art for day-to-day ornamentation and for special occasions such as weddings. Watch artists demonstrate or girls/women can have a special design created just for them!
  • God’s Eye/ Ojo de Dios.  Children can create a woven God’s Eye with their families. The Ojo de Dios (Eye of God in Spanish) is made by weaving different colors of yarn around wood. The weaving of an Ojo de Dios is an ancient contemplative and spiritual practice for many indigenous peoples in the Americas, and beliefs surrounding them vary with location and history.

The Sandy Spring Folklife Festival is part of Montgomery County’s Heritage Days.  Each year, on the last weekend of June, Heritage Montgomery hosts its signature event, the annual Heritage Days celebration – this year marking its 20th anniversary! This countywide event with free admission offers visitors an opportunity to sample numerous sites representing the history, culture, and natural beauty of Montgomery County.


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young girls dancing