The yearly Augusta Festival took place once again Saturday in Elkins City Park. Musicians, vendors, and spectators filled the park throughout the morning and afternoon.
Entering from the western side of the park, the first stage visitors encountered was the demonstration stage, where musicians showed off their skills by playing their instruments and by providing historical and cultural details about the specific instrument and style of music.
Matt and Aaron Olwell demonstrated the flute, with Aaron noting in their presentation that they used "a classical flute that was played until the 19th century." Their flutes were tapered near the ends and had less keys than a modern flute, which made the instrument simpler and better catered toward a specific musical style.
The Inter-Mountain photos by Casey Houser
Karl Smakula and 12 Gauge perform on the main stage during the annual Augusta Festival Saturday in Elkins City Park. More photos can be found online at cu.theintermountain.com.
Later in the afternoon, Gerry Milnes played guitar while being assisted by a host of other fiddle players, each with a personal story to tell about life and their instruments.
The main stage, near the center of the park, was constantly busy with performances. Karl Smakula and 12 Gauge are a band that helped bring some younger faces into the fold. All three members of the band graduated from high school this year. Their honkey tonk style includes the use of a guitar, stand-up bass, electric guitar and ukulele.
A dance and rhythms stage also was available for demonstrations and participation in waltz, Irish step dance and square dancing, among other styles.
Vendors were scattered around the park, displaying crafts, pottery and instruments of all sorts. Smakula Fretted Instruments held several banjos and violins in its tent. The showpiece was a stand-up bass that once was played at the Grand Ole Opry.
Handmade dulcimers were shown at the tent of Mastertone Dulcimers, where Jim Good has been hand-crafting them for over 30 years.
Robert Rose had hand-carved chopsticks at the front of his station. "It takes about two-an-a-half hours to make a pair, including the sanding," he said. Each pair is made of an unstained dark wood with pearl set into the grip.
A different set of carvings was shown off at the table of Susan Nonn. Her pieces included a number of dried, hollow gourds that were carved and painted to resemble leaves and traditional jack-o'-lanterns, all while retaining the general shape of a whole, untouched gourd.
The smell of festival food filled the 70-degree air, permeating the walkways and tents. A slight breeze was present, as well, under a sky that was clear of rain.
"I remember it being rainy and cold, the past few years," Rose said when asked about his time spent at Augusta. "I'm happy that it's is a nice day today."