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Looking Backward, Looking Forward: What Community Means to Us

Updated: Jun 12, 2022

Last month, we celebrated culture in Roanoke by representing Ireland and Scotland at Local Colors. We also helped raise money for two causes we really care about: Feeding Southwest Virginia and the Green Hill Highland Games. How did we do? How did we hope we would do? What's next?

Kinnfolk Josh playing guitar at 3rd Street Coffee House
Josh playing guitar at 3rd Street Coffee House

May 21st | Local Colors 2022

Local Colors has been a mainstay festival in Roanoke since 1991 and showcases the various countries represented in the community. Different countries often have their own tents set up to answer questions and provide information to anyone curious to learn more. There is truly something for everyone there, and it does a great job showcasing the many cultures that make up Roanoke. The stage acts were all amazing, and we were blown away by all the skill each country presented that day. The dancing was particularly fascinating; we have four left feet between the two of us, so seeing each dancer display such graceful control of their entire body was truly impressive. The day was covered by several news stations, and WFXR even included a clip of our performance in their news story!

For our part, our goal was to demonstrate for the audience how historically important Celtic culture is to the Roanoke Valley. Not only did we give them an example of Scottish and Irish music to show the difference in playing style, we also sang one song in Gaelic and one in Scots English (a dialect/sister language of Gaelic and English).

Local Colors, kilt, McKay Ancient, tartan, sporran

To complete the connection to the valley's history, we played a tune set consisting of transatlantic tunes to show Celtic music's connection to Old Time and Bluegrass. In doing so, we hoped to make Celtic music accessible to more people by showing how culture isn't a static monolith. Rather, it is an ever-evolving and multifaceted phenomenon that generates new and enriching ideas when shared.

May 24 | Tuesday Tunes for Feeding Southwest Virginia Season 2 Finale

It is always a joy to perform on the 3rd Street Coffeehouse stage, and Tuesday, May 24th was no exception. The crowd was great and the energy and enthusiasm for supporting Feeding Southwest Virginia was high. The entire evening was filled with dancing, laughing and music, a perfect recipe for a great night! We were seeing a steady stream of donations coming in, but it wasn't until the Rattlin Bog that we saw the highest number of contributions.

The entrance to 3rd Street Coffee House

By the end, we had managed to reach $500 raised for Feeding Southwest Virginia, which means 2,500 nutritious meals for families in need! Not only does this effort help prevent others from going hungry, but it is also a great initiative for reducing food waste by identifying need and shipping meals where they will have the biggest impact. It was a true all-around win and we couldn't be more grateful and pleased to see how generous our community is!

Watch the moment we hit our goal!

May 28 | Livestream Supporting the Green Hill Highland Games

One of the last things we did in May was our Livestream for raising money for the Green Hill Highland Games. The games started back in 2008 and have been a steadily growing festival featuring athletics, food, music, and fun since that time. The Green Hill Highland Games has meant so much to us over the years and was one of the first places where both got really involved with the Celtic community. In fact, that was where we met, had one of our first gigs, and eventually got engaged! We can't overstate it enough: without Green Hill, Kinnfolk would never have existed. Following our Livestream, donations got us to about 10% of our $5,000 goal and we thank everyone so much who donated! We really want Green Hill to endure and continue growing in the future, so for anyone in the area who is interested in volunteering for the event on August 27th, 2022 please consider reaching out to their Facebook page for more details. If you are interested in donating to help make this event a success, we will link their GoFundMe here.

Kinnfolk Livestream laughing

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