Folkies history this Sunday

Staff Writer

The Hyde Park Historical Society (HPHS) will host a presentation on the history of the University of Chicago Folk Festival this weekend.

The event will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday at 5529 S. Lake Park Ave., and will feature a panel discussion with former U. of C. Folklore Society President Bob Kass, festival enthusiast Nina Helstein and audio engineer Matt Sohn, who has digitized analog recordings of the event.

“I love the music and I love learning through the music about very different ways of life,” said Helstein, who has attended the festival since its first year in 1961. Performers have included bluegrass mandolinist Bill Monroe and blues guitarists Doc Watkins and Muddy Waters.

HPHS President Ruth Knack says she has wanted to host an event on the festival’s history for some time now. “What’s probably most interesting is how the folk festival came to be in the first place. There was a folk music scene of a sort in Hyde Park,” she said.

For more information, visit The 54th Annual U. of C. Folk Festival will take place Friday, Feb. 14 to Sunday, Feb. 16. Tickets will go on sale Feb 5. For details, visit