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South Florida Folk Festival: No longer blowin' in the wind?

The South Florida Folk Festival may finally recover from Hurricane Wilma.

The festival ran annually from 1992 to 2005, when the hurricane flattened its venue at Easterlin Park in Oakland Park. An attempt at a revival in 2008 "sort of broke the bank," Broward Folk Club president Arlene Boumel says.

But the festival is back this weekend, when about 40 acts will play Hugh Taylor Birch State Park in Fort Lauderdale. Bill and Kate Isles, Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen, Zoe Lewis, and Jack Williams will highlight the event, Boumel says, and have agreed to help revive the festival by playing at a discount.

"Everybody playing is playing for a lot less than they're worth," she says.

Meanwhile, 12 singer-songwriters will compete from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, and music will continue through 10 p.m. Performances also will take place from noon to 10 p.m. Sunday. Jam sessions and workshops are also on the schedule.

Folksingers and songwriters are often characterized as "people sitting around singing Kumbaya," Boumel says. "Some people don't understand it's contemporary singers and songwriters playing bluegrass, blues, folk duos and yes, some old stuff."

The South Florida Folk Festival will take place Saturday and Sunday at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, 3109 E. Sunrise Blvd., in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $35 for one day and $60 for both. Go to

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