Getting Folked Up 

Expect sensory overload at the Richmond Folk Festival.

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One of the hottest tickets in town this fall can't be bought. Because it's free. 

In its second year, the Richmond Folk Festival is slated to deliver an eclectic three-day cultural bonanza as an offshoot of the seminal National Folk Festival that inspired it from 2005-2007. Grammy winners, master craftsmen, tradition bearers and thousands of fans will saddle up riverside Oct. 9-11. 

Including the edgy R&B of Virginia native Swamp Dogg and the twangy bluegrass gospel of Paul Williams and the Victory Trio, there's a hearty helping of American roots music on tap as well as a smattering of world sounds, including East African and Greek music. For those who want to shake it, Jorge Negron's Master Bomba Ensemble promises to bring the beats. There's also the option to leave the dancing to the pros and take in a performance by Sounds of Korea, a performance group that's sure to tantalize with dances inspired by Buddhist shaman rituals.

And leave the diets at home. Good eats abound with bangers and mash, delectable gourmet chocolates and curry flavored dishes among hundreds of other culinary offerings from around the world. The festival goes green for the first time, providing recycling containers throughout the site, along with biodegradable serving materials. It will even give back to the community in a unique way, shipping off all collected compost to Tuckahoe Plantation for fertilizer. 

Suburbanites be not afraid! There's plenty of parking and free shuttles will run from various locations on the outskirts of downtown. The festival is also one of the most kid-friendly events ever to hit the River City, so you'll have to come up with a pretty good excuse to miss this one.

The Richmond Folk Festival takes place Oct. 9-11 on downtown Richmond's riverfront, from Second to Seventh streets and from Byrd Street to the river.  For information visit www.richmondfolkfestival.com.

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