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Texas Folklife Festival: New music, dance, food

By James M. Benavides
Public Affairs Specialist

(June 1, 2009)--The Texas Folklife Festival will welcome a series of new cooks, entertainers and artisans to the biggest cultural celebration in Texas, June 12-14, at the Institute of Texan Cultures.

Among the new performers are Hard Rock Café Battle of the Bands winners Last Of Our Kind; San Antonio's popular funk group Dog Men Poets; recent Conjunto Heritage Taller graduates the Zamora family; the Hawaiian entertainers Kainoa Ohana featuring ethnic dance and the islands-meet-rock-and-roll sounds of frontman UTSA's Kai Kamaka; the Brownsville school bus drivers of Rondalla Voces y Guitarras and many more. Music and dance will be featured on 10 stages across the grounds during the festival.

The Texas Folklife Festival menu is equally compelling, featuring delicacies that migrated to Texas from countries around the world. Famaguon Guahan, the "Children of Guam," join the festival this year with island-style Chamorry Kelaguen barbecue chicken and a selection of island desserts. For the first time at the festival, the Korean Association of San Antonio will serve uniquely prepared barbecue beef ribs, pork and chicken. Also new on the menu are Pakistani-style samosas, Lassi yogurt drinks and the syrupy-sweet fruit drink, rooh afza.

>> Visit the Texas Folklife Festival Web site to see the menu, entertainment schedule and festival map to find your favorite food booths, musical acts and craft vendors.

The Texas Folklife Festival honors artisans who have honed their exceptional skills through many generations and often across several continents. Talented Texan craftspeople, many of whom are first-time participants at the event, will sell their wares on the veranda surrounding the museum.

Purple Martin Propagators will offer a selection of unique bat- and birdhouses. Heirloom Musical Creations from Dripping Springs, Texas, will sell handmade, heirloom-quality music boxes, perfect for commemorating weddings, graduations, retirements and lifetime achievements. Old Time Photography and Petal Paddles woodworkers also will join the Texas Folklife Festival family this year.

Advance tickets are on sale at the Texas Folklife Festival Web site, all H-E-B locations, Lackland and Randolph air force bases, UTSA Main and Downtown campuses and the Institute of Texan Cultures. Adult tickets (for guests ages 12 and older) are $10 in advance and $12 at the gate; children (ages 3-11) are $6 in advance and at the gate. VIA Park & Ride service is available from Crossroads Park & Ride, Randolph Park & Ride, Blossom Athletic Center and Madla Transit Center.

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The Institute of Texan Cultures is an agency of the UTSA Office of the Vice President for Community Services. The mission of the museum is to engage lifelong learners in the understanding and celebration of Texas cultural heritage. Located on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus in downtown San Antonio, the 182,000-square-foot complex features 65,000 square feet of interactive exhibits and displays that tell the stories of Texans.

The museum develops quality, accessible resources for educators and lifelong learners on topics of cultural heritage and strives to develop a rich and vibrant culture in the arts and humanities that will expand the community's awareness and appreciation of Texas through an engaging series of exhibits, programs and special events. Resources for multiple audiences are available at the museum's Web site, TexanCultures.com.

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