Today we’re proud to present the first interview straight from the rooster’s mouth: Hungry Mother Festival, taking place this weekend in Virginia’s Hungry Mother State Park. We sat down with Hungry Mother Festival’s entertainment head, Candace Butler, and learned more about the festival. Hopefully this gets you excited to attend!
In Virginia? Looking for plans this weekend? We give Hungry Mother Festival a solid thumbs up.
Festival Rooster: First, the question everyone wants to know the answer to: Hungry Mother. Any theories on how the park got its name?
Candace Butler: The name Hungry Mother is taken from a legend. The legend of Hungry Mother goes that when Native Americans raided some settlements in the area south of what is now Hungry Mother State Park, a mother and her small child were captured and taken to the raiders’ camp north of the park. The mother found a way to escape with her child and wandered through the wilderness with only the wild berries to eat. When the mother collapsed by a creek, her child wandered down the creek until the child found help. When the child was found, the only words the small child could say were “Hungry Mother.” A search party was sent out to find the mother of the child. The mother was found dead by the creek as she had starved to death. Afterward, the creek where the mother was found become known as Hungry Mother Creek, the park named Hungry Mother State Park, and our festival held in the park is called Hungry Mother Festival.
Festival Rooster: Tell us a little about Hungry Mother Festival. How did you get involved?
Candace Butler: The annual Hungry Mother Festival is the longest running festival to be held in a Virginia State Park and is sponsored by the Art League of Marion, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of art, theater, and music. Proceeds from the festival fund a variety of local cultural activities including art scholarships and a county-wide art show for high school students. Hungry Mother Festival brings together arts and crafts vendors, entertainment, live music, festival food, and family fun. I am a writer, artist, and musician, so I got involved with Hungry Mother Festival after I completed my undergrad studies when I joined the Art League of Marion to support and foster the arts in my community.
Festival Rooster: Summer arts festivals are everywhere in the South. What does Hungry Mother bring to the table?
Candace Butler: Hungry Mother Festival is an amazing arts and music festival that brings 3 days of fun for the whole family and is set in the most beautiful outdoor venue that offers camping and recreational activities such as swimming, paddle boarding, paddle boating, canoeing, and hiking. There are over 100 arts and crafts vendors from several states offering handcrafted items for sale. The music is unique and pretty awesome with many local favorites and other musicians from a few surrounding states that bring the traditional music that is so rooted in our area heritage, such as old-time, bluegrass, country, and folk. Also, this year the festival will have a guitar workshop with Virginia luthier Gerald Anderson, cello workshop with cellist Bethany Dawson, banjo workshop with musician Jim Lloyd, and banjo workshop with musician Emily Spencer from the Whitetop Mountain Band. The festival has live music performances for the full three days with these bands: Amythyst Kiah, Loose Strings Band, Wise Old River, Bryan Elijah Smith, The Buttermilk Girls, Dale Jett & Hello Stranger, Clay Davidson, Michael Jacobs, Whitetop Mountain Band, Savannah Norris, Stephanie Norris, and Darrell Eads. Clogging and other activities are also scheduled.
Festival Rooster: What are you looking forward to during the rest of the year?
Candace Butler: I look forward to enjoying the summer by visiting more Virginia State Parks and enjoying some of the local summer concerts to find more amazing musicians and bands to add to our future entertainment lineups!
Festival Rooster: Anything else you’d like to add?
Candace Butler: Thank you for having Hungry Mother Festival on Festival Rooster. I invite everyone to come on out to our festival and bring all your family and friends. Admission is free for the festival and workshops. There is a parking fee for a state park event, which is $6 day or $9 for the weekend. There is a free shuttle from downtown Marion, Virginia. For more information and schedule times of our entertainment lineup visit our website at www.hungrymotherfestival.com. It is going to be a great year. We look forward to seeing you there.
Festival Rooster: Thank YOU for the interview, Candace!
P.S. Want to be interviewed about your festival? Email us and we can make it happen.