Since its birth in 1988, Falcon Ridge has grown from a small New England festival nestled in the Berkshires to a Mecca for the folk community. From the get go, the fest had a life of its own, not just an event but a state of mind and spirit one could go back to again and again. Campers and day-trippers will once again come together for this once a year recharging of the psyche’s batteries on the Dodds Farm in Hillsdale, NY this July 23-25.

The Fest community was built around the music which is still the focus though today, many attendees come solely for the dazzling International Food Court, others for the equally International Craft Village, others to dance the day and night away on the largest outdoor floor of its kind. The fest has something for everyone, part Food Expo, part Craft Fair, and part Dance Marathon. Each of the 4 stages is its own mini universe, the campgrounds another world altogether. Throngs of youngsters populate the Activities 4 Kids Area, all-night song circles and jams abound and the never idle dance floor starts with early AM yoga and goes on until 2AM both Friday and Saturday.

An array of consumables to satisfy every palate line the midway, from vegan Caribbean curries to Middle Eastern schwarma, savory Thai noodle crepes to Portobello lime wraps, spinach feta quesadillas to fresh cut, fried potato chips. Luscious natural smoothies, shortcakes, chocolate confections and gourmet hand roasted coffees abound. There is a village market with clothing, fabrics, jewelry, literature, toys, pottery, hand blown glass, musical instruments, herbals and other goods.

2010 highlights include The Ebony Hillbillies, one of the last all black string bands in the US, keeping alive a key element in the genesis of all uniquely American music, jazz, blues, country, bluegrass and rock n’ roll. Fest faves Nerissa & Katryna Nields, The Clayfoot Strutters and Red Molly return. Darlings of the Canadian music scene, Dala, bring their harmonies and fresh brand of acoustic pop. Giant Robot Dance makes their Falcon Ridge debut. Folk icons John Gorka, Cheryl Wheeler Jimmy LaFave and Eliza Gilkyson join forces for the Friday Summer’s Eve Song Swap. Fest MVP’s, Gandalf Murphy & the Slambovian Circus of Dreams close Mainstage on Saturday night.

Performers run the gamut from Cajun to Celtic to World to Blues to Bluegrass with the fest’s trademark singer/songwriters and contra dance bands at the center. Artists from Texas, Nashville, Atlanta, Toronto, Great Britain and closer to home are featured. Kids of all ages sing, boogie, drum and share stories at the Family Stage. Workshop offerings include The Blues is Still the News, The Power of Two and Rolling In the Aisles. Three day with & without camping and single day tickets are available. Kids 12 and under have FREE admission. There are discounts for seniors, students and teens. Falcon Ridge is handicap accessible and ASL-interpreted.

The fest kicks off Friday July 23 at noon with its Emerging Artist Showcase, renowned for its discovery of new talent. For info and tickets go to <>  or 860 364-0366.