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Family fun at Dartmoor Folk Festival

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The Festival includes a packed programme of events and activities suitable for all ages, 
including a hugely-successful dedicated children's festival.

The main event will include concerts, a ramble on Dartmoor, a ceilidh, folk service, craft displays,
dances, a Dartmoor Fayre, music hall, pub sessions and music, song and dance workshops.

A rich crop of local and national artists will headline at the 37th annual festival, 
which will be held at South Zeal, near Okehampton.

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Artists will include the New Rope String Band (Friday), Lady Maisery, Greg Russell and 
Ciaran Algar (winners of the BBC Young Folk Awards 2013 and 2014 Horizon Award), ...

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Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer, The Old Fashioned, Geoff Lakeman, Chalktown with 
Phil Bassindale and Pete White's Suitcase Circus.

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Other artists attending will include The Kelly Quarry Blasters (Sunday), Trevor Organ's 
Cracking Crockery, ...

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The Dartmoor Pixie Band (Friday and Sunday night), Tony Beard, FrAntic (Sunday night), 
Ramsley Minors, Entertainingly Different, Uncle Tacko, Chucklefoot and Dave Wills.

The various morris and dance teams taking part will include, on Saturday, Green Ginger Clog,
Shuffle The Deck (Appalachian), Exeter Morris Men and Cogs and Wheels. 
On the Sunday the teams will include Winkleigh Morris, Tinners Morris and South Zeal Steppers. 
Hotly-contested competitions include the Dartmoor Broom Dance championships and 
Dartmoor Stepdance Championships.

Dartmoor Broom dancing involves dancing with a broom, or rather over a broom, 
and is for primary school-aged children.

The Dartmoor Step dance sees dancers step on a 15-inch square board showing the different 
steps to try and out step the previous dancer, until a final champion is decided upon. 
There are adult and junior champions selected.

Classes to teach both broom dancing and step dancing are held during the festival 
and anyone is eligible to take part.

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It was 37 years ago that the festival was founded by the late Bob Cann, who lived in the parish
of South Zeal. He had the dream of a folk event on his doorstep that would help to revive 
and preserve the traditions of Dartmoor.

Mr Cann was awarded the British Empire Medal for his services to folk music, 
which included founding the festival.

It was the traditional music, dance, song and crafts of the area that formed the basis 
for the first festival and they still remain for the association which runs the festival today.

The association includes many descendants of Mr Cann and his wife, Joyce, 
is president of the association.

Since it was founded it has grown so that it can invite some of the best folk artists around,
whilst maintaining its reputation for being a relaxed, friendly and traditional festival.

The Dartmoor Fayre, on Saturday, August 9, will be opened at 2.20pm by long-time festival 
supporter and folk legend, Pete Coe.

It will also include a Devon Dialect concert, duck race, ferret racing, starter melodeon sessions, 
craft marquee, stalls and refreshments will be available.

Alan Quick, publicity officer, said: “An action-packed programme has been arranged 
and we are looking forward to a great festival.

“There will be three days of music, song, dance and crafts.

“Entertainment is arranged for the whole family to enjoy, whether to take part or simply 
sit and watch.

“Most events are very modestly priced and some are totally free, so there is 
something for everyone.

"The festival is deeply rooted in the heart of the Dartmoor community and is keeping 
customs and traditions alive."

For further details, or to enquire about booking tickets, telephone 01837 840102 
or visit the website: www.dartmoorfolkfestival.org.uk .

TamarValley