Dawn’s Oregon 150 Challenge: Sisters Folk Festival
Every year, the Sisters Folk Festival takes over this small town beloved by many Oregonians and transforms it into a living, breathing and highly accessible folk music festival. I was on my way back from a girls weekend getaway in Bend, and we thought we’d make Sisters our lunch stop, being that there are so many delightful shops to browse. By pure accident, we stumbled upon this folk festival, and were treated to delightful music that carried across the town. The main stage was in the village green (otherwise known as the city park in the heart of town), and it was very clear that the draw to this event was the music taking place on the tent. Down-home music and songs sung from the heart permeated the air, and we enjoyed some of the performances from the cool refuge under the ponderosa pines along the park edge. It was a peaceful day, with brilliant sunlight, azure skies and green grass beneath our feet, and melodic, grounded music was captured in this crystalline moment in time. After listening for awhile, we made our way across town only to discover multiple stages scattered across the downtown. I was meeting another friend at the Sisters Coffee Company, and was surprised to see a small outdoor seating area that had popped up on the front lawn, and a small crowd gathered around the performer. There was a certain amount of intimacy here that you wouldn’t find in a large audience in a concert venue, which made this all the more precious. As we walked around Sisters, it was like finding hidden treasure every time we came around a corner and found a different performer and a happy, relaxed group listening to their music. Songs softly wended their way around corners, guiding us to the next venue, many of which were free to any passersby.
Something about this entire event and how it was so carefully and tastefully integrated into the living being that is the Sisters community was inspiring. It felt real. It felt natural. And it felt Oregonian. And embracing a balance between what lies in the great outdoors and what Oregonians have worked hard to create is a great example that makes this state a very special place to be indeed.
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