What fun it was to hear the Folk Show feature my daughter Karen playing her dulcimer coupled with Tom Chapin’s new “Down to Winfield Town” as a way to wish her luck as she competed there. Winfield, Kansas hosts the annual Walnut Valley Folk Festival which features national competitions in various styles of guitar, mandolin, fiddle, hammered and mountain dulcimer and others.
Karen and I are freshly back. She finished fourth in a field of 13 at the hammered dulcimer competition. Placing in the top five was a great place to be for a first attempt.
Walnut Valley is a fun atmosphere, with snippets of music heard everywhere you turn. Several formal stages have people performing continuously, and other more spontaneous venues spring up too. The weather was perfect this year. We got to hear TOm Chapin sing DOwn to WInfield Town live, and John McCutcheon, Tom Chapin, and Michael Mark sing Follow the Light and a wonderful Winfield parody of Hotel California, as well as lots of other great music!
It happens the third weekend in September every year. If you ever are looking for somewhere to be at that time of year, Winfield is a great place for folk music lovers. And maybe someday State College will be able to claim their own hammered dulcimer champion!