Rutherford County’s Cripple Creek Cloggers and its string band represented the U.S. in international folkloric festivals in southwestern France for 17 days, beginning July 9.
The Middle Tennessee folk group was sponsored by the French folk group, Louis Cigalouns de Morseums, a traditional stilt-dancing troupe who performed here in Murfreesboro’s International Folkfest in the 1980s.
The Cripple Creek Cloggers were joined for the various festival events in the towns of Morcenx, La Reole, Ychoux, Mont-de-Marsan, Bourdelles, Saint-Macaire, Bazas, Rauzan, and others, by folk troupes from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Ukraine and Spain, as well as various groups from France.
Festival activities during the stay included parades and official greetings by dignitaries of the region; visits to the beaches in the area; a tour of the ancient caves nearby where pictorial depictions of early life are preserved; and sessions set up for teaching Appalachian-style square dancing to festival attendees.
Cripple Creek Cloggers is celebrating the 44th anniversary of its founding as a 4-H activity group at Kittrell School by current director, Steve Cates, in June 1967.
Because of its participation in international events in the Caribbean, Canada, Europe and North Africa, this group with the help of various interested persons in the Murfreesboro, Rutherford County and Middle Tennessee were able to organize International Folkfest in 1982.
The group always welcomes new members.
All participants are volunteers and there is no charge for joining or participating. Find out more about them, including where and when they practice, at cripplecreekcloggers.org.
Among those participating in this French tour, along with Cates, were the following: Michael Graves, Ann Mattox, Linda Vanatta, Tommy Vanatta, Caleb Allen, Donna Davis, Tara Syester, Kelsey Wells, Oliver Shalibo, Doug Willard and Linda Davis.
The Cripple Creek Cloggers are currently holding free classes for new dancers Tuesday nights at 220 E. Vine St., in Murfreesboro.
At the same time, the group is helping to plan the 30th anniversary of International Folkfest for June 10-17, 2012 and also to decide which festival invitations abroad to accept for next year.
For more information, contact Steve Cates, Director, at 615-896-3559 or firstname.lastname@example.org.