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Festival is folk friendly

July 21, 2002

dank@herald-mail.com

Mellow songs and the sounds of acoustic instruments came from the hills on Saturday as hundreds of people lounged and danced to the sounds of the third annual Country Roads Folk Festival at the Almost Heaven Farm near Kearneysville.

The two-day folk music festival ends today with performances from noon until 7 p.m. on the 10-acre farm owned by festival founder and organizer Maureen Harrigan and her husband, Steve Workings.

"We just really love the atmosphere and the people. It's really laid back," said John Hattayer, 48, who drove to the festival from Plainfield, Conn., with his wife and two children.

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"It's just a vacation from life itself, with swimming and fly fishing and good music," Hattayer said.

"I like the camping," said Hattayer's 11-year-old daughter, Jennifer.

Festival-goers were allowed to camp at the farm for the festival, which also offers hay rides, arts and crafts vendors and music workshops.

"There were just enough groups we are familiar with for us to know it's a winner, and the acts in between haven't let us down," said Mike Oliver, 64, of Alexandria, Va.

Oliver and his wife, Linda, were drawn to the festival by the groups Hot Soup! and The Kennedys, which performed Saturday, as well as the John Denver tribute scheduled for today.

Well-known folk performers scheduled for today include Tom Paxton and Bill Danoff, who co-wrote "Take Me Home Country Roads" with Denver.

Folk musician Brooks Williams had his first Country Roads Folk Festival performance Saturday.

"It's really cool, very friendly," said Williams, who sings and plays the guitar and mandolin. "A personal kind of festival, intimate,"

"It's great. The food's good. The people are cool, and it's a great setting, too," he said.

Harrigan said she hoped about 2,000 people would come to the festival.

"It's nice to bring some national names to the local folk," Harrigan said.

"Communities become stronger through music. It unites generations," she said.

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