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PFS and Appel Farm Folk Faire

Last weekend, Appel Farm Arts and Music Center hosted the folks from the Philadelphia Folk Song Society for their annual Fall Fling.  The PFSS musicians have been holding a Fall Fling for over 25 years but this was their first year communing at Appel Farm.  This was a true meeting of like-minded spirits – both the Philadelphia Folk Song Society and Appel Farm have a shared mission of promoting arts and music now and for the future.

The Fall Fling began on Friday morning ending at sunset on Sunday evening.  It was a weekend full of workshops, open mic performances, and live music.  

As quoted from the PFSS website (

“… the most difficult questions you had to face were, “Do I go to a workshop featuring classic folk songs of the 60’s, pull out a T-shirt and create a tie-dye worthy of the memory of Jerry Garcia, wander over to a cabin for some informal jamming, get out a racket and smack the tennis ball around, or simply collapse in a lounge chair and let the sounds of hundreds of people having fun wash over me?”

During daylight hours, you could find musicians gathered together in music circles across Appel Farm or participating in such workshops as “How to Make A Tin Can Guitar”.  (Check out this great youtube video,, which demonstrates youth in Swaziland constructing a guitar out of found materials.  The workshop at the Fall Fling was a tad simpler – vegetable tin cans were used instead of oil cans, but it was basically the same concept.) Once the sun went down, Fall Fling participants gathered around Appel Farm’s outdoor fire pit, swapping stories and sharing songs until late into the night.

On Saturday, the Fall Fling opened its doors to the general public for a day-long Faire.  In addition to workshops, live music and barbecue, Appel Farm hosted an Arts Education tent. Children and families learned how to make handmade paper and clay tiles; they made mosaics, painted on alternative surfaces and were shown how to throw a pot on a ceramics wheel.

Later in the day, Fall Faire Headliners, Ezra and Keith of  Trout Fishing in America ( stopped by the Appel Farm tent to participate in a meet and greet with their young fans.  Kids of all ages and their parents asked such important questions as, “What is your favorite vegetable?” and we learned that Keith’s favorite vegetable is ice cream.   We also learned that if Ezra could “throw anything out the window” (one of their best known songs is “The Window”) it would be Keith.  But we also learned that Keith is Ezra’s best friend.

Another very special part of the day, was a song writing workshop led by Ezra and Keith.  Participants in the workshop even got to perform their new song on stage with Trout Fishing in America during their headline performance.

The Philadelphia’s Fall Fling was a fantastic event.  Appel Farm is looking forward to next year!