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18 April 2008

5 Reasons to Attend This Year's Mountain Longleaf Festival

The JAXPAN Steel Drum Band plays at last year's Mountain Longleaf Festival. This year's festival will be Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on historic McClellan. Photo: Special to The Star

By Deirdre Long
Star Entertainment Editor

Reprinted here in its entirety.

1. To get your groove on

This year's festival is offering a wide array of music. Things get kicked off at 12 p.m. with Miss Alabama Jamie Langley, followed by the JAXPAN Steel Drum Band , the Sterling Silver Band (classic rock), Foggy Hollow (bluegrass), Maybe Later (Southern rock), Dustin Howard (rock) and Laura Dodd and Tom Walker (country).

2. To learn "lost" arts

The theme for this year's festival is "Rediscovering the Lost Arts" a collaboration between the JSU Field School and JSU's Continuing Education Office. Festival-goers will be able to watch artists in action as they do storytelling, weaving, soap and candle making, beading, wood carving, quilting, basketry and many more hand-crafted arts. There will also be more traditional artists and vendors with photography, paintings and drawings.

3. To get the kids outside

The festival features "Children's Passport Stations" where they can meet a snake, learn how to make Native American tools, plant seeds, make leaf prints, draw with chalk, play with bubbles, play with a giant parachute, meet Smokey the Bear, see live animals with Dan Spaulding and more. Most of all, they can just enjoy being a kid.

4. To support a good cause

The Rally for Relay concerts will kick off at 3:30 p.m. with Foggy Hollow. For an added $5 donation, festival-goers can hear great tunes from local musicians and help support the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.

5. To celebrate Earth Day

In honor of Earth Day, learn a little bit about your environment and what kinds of activities it offers. Some of this year's exhibits include: the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, DeSoto State Park, Calhoun County Recycling, Northeast Alabama Bike Club, Anniston Runners Club, Anniston Outdoor Association, GEEKs in the Woods, Chief Ladiga Trail, Terrapin Outdoor Center, and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Why do you go to the festival?

"My perfect festival experience: Meeting some live animals, hearing some loud, classic rock 'n' roll from Sterling Silver, tasting my favorite mint chip ice cream from Wright's dairy, learning about the artists who make things in front of you."

Pete Conroy, director of Environmental Policy and Information Center at Jacksonville State University

"Seeing the faces of thousands of children as they learn how Native American's made tools from rocks, meeting living treasure artisans who still do things like our great-grandparents did, and knowing that through edu-tainment we are uniting our community and making it a better place for our children's children."

Renee Morrison, JSU Field School Coordinator

4th annual Mountain Longleaf Festival

What: Festival celebrating the natural world and benefitting the children of our community.
When: Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: McClellan
How much: $10 suggested donation per family, Rally for Relay (music) an additional $5 donation per person
Contact: 782-5697 or
Directions: From Highway 21, take the Baltzell Gate (across from Lenlock area) into McClellan. At the traffic circle, take a right on Berman Road. The festival will be on the left, but parking is just past the event on the right. There will be handicap-accessible parking designated.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt covers K-12 schools and higher education for The Star.

See story at The Anniston Star's website: .

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