With North Carolina’s annual Folk Festival descending upon downtown Greensboro, UNCG’s Spartans have found diverse and creative ways to get involved in the festivities at this free-of-charge event. The fun-filled weekend draws a crowd of over 100,000 people each year, with nearly 140,000 in attendance for 2018.
This year, Greensboro celebrated the 76th anniversary of the festival with folk musicians from North Carolina, artists from across the United States and bands from countries as far away as Mongolia.
The festival has proven itself in the past to be a popular attraction for UNCG students to kick back with friends or family, eat delicious local food and volunteer within their growing community.
Spartan Way, which is located on Davie Street in the heart of downtown, was full of food vendors, artisan crafters and of course, Spartan students and alumni. Students were offered the opportunity to volunteer with a club or organization on campus, with friends or simply on their own.
Volunteers spent the festival weekend greeting guests as they arrived for concerts, handing out blue and gold beads, drawstring bags, stickers, bubbles, other fun items and connecting with friends and UNCG graduates.
Our Spartan Ambassadors represented the University in style and could be found throughout Spartan Way, sporting navy t-shirts and friendly smiles as the festivities took way.
UNCG also had its cheerleading team in attendance; they were in charge of getting everyone pumped up about the festival events, as well as directing them to the UNCG tent to pick up some swag if they had missed out.
The UNCG tent, located in the lot near the main stage, had all kinds of gear available, as well as friendly volunteers, faculty, and staff members ready to answer questions or help apply a temporary tattoo onto a hand or face.
When asked what she enjoyed most about volunteering at the festival, Spartan Ambassador and freshman Rebecca Jochims said, “Handing out the Spartan-themed gear was fun, because the kids attending the festival got so excited about anything we had to give them, but it also spread pride for the University and drew attention to our fantastic programs. So many people told us that they had attended UNCG for college and wanted to tell us about how grateful they were for their experience.”
According to other Spartan Ambassadors, it was difficult to find a person that wasn’t sporting some type of blue and gold gear. By the end of each night, almost everyone had a strand of beads, a sticker or a temporary UNCG tattoo.
The North Carolina Folk Festival proved itself to be an excellent platform for representing the positive environment that UNCG fosters, and was a great way for incoming Spartans and UNCG faculty, staff and alumni to involve themselves in our school and our community. The value that UNCG places on serving the community and the impact that it has on Greensboro was shining through by the end of the weekend, and left our students ready for next year.