Madison’s successful Ohio River Valley Folk Festival is a model, but ya gotta want to emulate it.


The second annual Ohio River Valley Folk Festival is history, and the city of Madison could not have asked for a better weekend in terms of weather, even if it was a bit nippy on Friday evening.

As in 2006, the crowd was well-behaved and the music superlative. The festival’s organizers persist in espousing the apparently revolutionary notion that a gathering dedicated to the diverse ethos of folk music should also reflect grassroots choices in food and drink.

Consequently, Budweiser was not available, there was no California box wine in sight, and Taco Bell didn’t have a concession. It was enough to gladden a contrarian’s heart – although the Thomas Family Winery’s delightful hard cider helps on that count.

There was a noticeable sprinkling of New Albanians in the crowd, and most probably were thinking much the same as I: Why can’t New Albany use its riverfront more often? Or hold more than one festival a year? Or work together in some fashion resembling a team to stage events that bring money and tourists from outside the city limits?

Is it in the water?

But it’s the same river, isn’t it?