Our local Cripple Creek Cloggers are in Alnwick ( England ) for the International Music Festival. Founder Steve Cates and the Rutherford County troupe will perform at historic sites and host a workshop for youth.
Saturday's introduction of all groups to those gathered for this 39th annual festival will be a parade through the town to Market Place, where many of the performances will be held. All participating foreign countries, including Senegal, Sicily, Taiwan, Poland, Romania, and the U.S.,along with several English troupes, will carry flags and banners and meet those assembled. Official greetings will be given by the Mayor and gifts will be exchanged between him and the visiting folk groups.
An ecumenical service and a mass/blessing for the festival will be held on Sunday at St. Michaels church. That evening a special "Northumberland Night" will introduce the guests from other countries to the traditions and customs of this part of Britain.
On Tuesday, Cripple Creek Cloggers will tour the ancient city of York and have an opportunity to visit Hadrian's Wall, the wall built across this northern part of Britain by the Romans. Other stops will be made during this day and evening of touring on their Free Day.
Cripple Creek Cloggers will host the "Festival Club" on Wednesday. This is a nightly event where different participating troupes lead all those interested in dances, songs and music from their countries.
On Friday, Cripple Creek Cloggers will host a sixty-minute Children's Workshop. Children of the area plus those who are visiting are invited to come and join the Appalachian dance and music fun. They will not only learn old-time square dancing with a clogging step, but also traditional Tennessee Singing Games, such as "Old Dan Tucker" and the "Pawpaw Patch".
Several times during their visit, performing groups will visit and make presentations in and around Alnwick Castle, the second largest castle in England still used as a home ( second only to Buckingham Palace). This will include shows in Alnwick Gardens as well as at Alnwick Playhouse, a professional theatre.
During their stay the group will also look for troupes who might be interesting to audiences in Murfreesboro during International Folkfest, to be held next during June 7-14, 2015. The clogging group is the official host to this festival, the first international folk festival of its type established in the U.S. (in 1982).
The next local meeting of Cripple Creek Cloggers will be on Tuesday, Sept. 2, at 7 p.m. at 220 E. Vine St., in Murfreesboro. Any interested persons are invited to come to participate. There is no charge for attending, teaching, or joining. For more information, contact Steve Cates, Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615 896 3559. Currently dancers participate not only from Rutherford County, but from Cannon County, Robertson County, Davidson County, DeKalb County, and Bedford County.
The cloggers participating in this tour with Cates, who founded the group in 1967, are Caleb Allen, Susan Mellentine, Ann Mattox, Doug Willard, Michael Graves, Blake Arnold, Dawn Arnold, Donna Davis, and Michael E. Smith.