By Kaylee Lindenmuth
Many students know the fairgrounds as an additional parking lot. In the summer, the lot is a hive of activity, and one of those activities is among the best of its kind in the country.
Over the past few months, USA Today readers were invited to vote for their favorite cultural festivals in the country for their 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards. At the poll’s conclusion, the Kutztown Folk Festival ranked No. 2.
“We’re thrilled that, after 70 years, we are still able to showcase the authentic and exciting Pennsylvania Dutch culture. It’s our goal to educate the country and the world on its rich history, as well as the intricate trades of its artisans. This recognition and exposure aides us in that goal and we are grateful for that,” said Steve Sharadin, Kutztown Folk Festival executive director.
The festival was bested by the Water Lantern Festival, which is held in multiple locations across the country.
According to USA Today, the Kutztown Folk Festival “offers a chance to broaden horizons, try new things and connect with others from around the continent and the world.”
“The nine-day Kutztown Folk Festival is the nation’s oldest continuously operated folklife festival, drawing visitors from around the globe,” the publication writes. “A celebration of Pennsylvania Dutch culture and heritage, the event includes America’s largest quilt sale, 200 craftsmen and folk artists, local food and family-friendly entertainment.”
This year’s festival is the 70th-annual and runs from June 29 to July 7.
Other finalists included the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in Louisiana, the Frozen Dead Guy Days Festival in Nederland, Colo., and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Ore.