Richmond Folk Festival crafting plans to expand

Posted at 11:31 PM, Oct 12, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-13 13:44:05-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Even the consistent rain didn't keep people from dancing at the Folk Festival this weekend.

The festival is a Richmond commodity, often noted as one of central Virginia's most popular events. Last year, more than 200,000 people attended.

"We love everything about it," said Margarete Renschler.

The organizers of the festival are up against new challenges, though. As the festival draws more people, more land is needed.

New Market Corporation donated some of its land to festival organizers to host the main stage. However, New Market now wants Venture Richmond to come up with a new location.

Lisa Sims, the Deputy Director of Venture Richmond, says that the organization hopes to eventually see the Kanawha Canal restored. In order to preserve the canal, there was never a plan to build an amphitheater at the riverfront.

"I think that everybody involved has been really trying to make sure that it is respectfully and appropriately honored and taken care of," says Sims.

Neighbors in the area are becoming concerned with new plans for the festival, though. Oregon Hill locals may be facing problems between the volume of bands playing at the new venue and the possibility of parking complications.

"The stage is going to be pointed right at my front door,” said one resident. "I'm hopeful there is going to be some conversation now."

Festival organizers say the City Planning Commission has already signed off on the expansion project. Next the plan moves to City Council before it's a done deal.

RELATED: Complete Richmond Folk Festival 2013 Guide