The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Tate Street Festival brings people and art together

Trudging up beside the Sushi Republic restaurant, I was hit with a kaleidoscope of sound and colors as the Tate Street Festival welcomed me into the heart of the University of North Carolina-Greensboro (UNC-G) campus this past Saturday.

I immediately noticed patrons, along with vendors, that came in all different shapes and sizes, filling the small block party with a smorgasbord of culture. Men covered in intricate tattoos also had all forms of piercings, some slightly hidden under their shoulder length dreadlocks. Women with flowing skirts made their way from tent to tent, their eyes scanning original art and custom jewelry that were spread out along the slanted sidewalks.

Walking toward the center of the festivities a strange sight caught my eye. A luna-stix juggler dressed entirely in black wearing a Scottish kilt, while sporting a sleeveless Under Armour t-shirt, entertained the masses with his carnival skills. Maybe somewhere else this outfit might deserve a good scoffing, but this is Tate Street; meaning a devil may care wardrobe is definitely appreciated.

Rubbing shoulders with fellow festival-goers I bumped into Tate Street resident and UNC-G senior Lauren Pack.

“I love the festival and sub-culture of Tate Street. I just don’t approve of the political agendas being peddled on the street. A mini music festival is no place for politics,” Pack said.

After making a quick surveying lap my attention was drawn to the enthusiastic group working the 103.1FM (WUAG) radio station booth. A plethora of merchandise such as t-shirts, cds, and free bumper stickers loaded the table. UNC-G sophomore Ryan Boye who works at the station informed me that this was the second year that they had set up a table for the festival. I wanted to know what his take was on the festivities.

“This isn’t HBO man, this is real life,” Boye said as he motioned to the crowd and stage.

The event was as organized as it had to be, but nothing was totally scripted.

As I made my way past a group of girls dancing with hula-hoops, I spotted a cluster of women with old-school quad roller skates working a booth. The Gate City Rollers, Greensboro’s new roller derby team, were there to gain support for their upcoming season. I was fortunate enough to meet and speak

with team captain Aubrey Lockard (Also known as Molly Flogger when she’s found in roller derby gear).

“This is the kind of crowd we cater to and expect to come to our matches,” Lockard said. “Being here today has given us the chance to be very accessible.”

Outdoor vendors were not the only people getting a large crowd; businesses along Tate Street were enjoying gaggles of consumers as well. I popped my head in Design Archives, a retro clothing shop filled with eclectic items and nostalgic charm and the place was packed with people, both young and old.

They were flipping through styles of yester year that, some might say, never went out of style to begin with. Whilst trying to find a members only jacket, I spotted a sales associate and got her take on the busy event.

“This is our biggest sales day of the year,” said Julie Henderson who was working the sales floor. “We get a lot of our regular cliental, but with it being family weekend on campus we get a lot of their family members too.”

Design Archives has been participating in the festival for the past nine years, three of which are from their current location on Tate Street.

“It’s just a really exciting day for us here. The energy is excellent,” Henderson said before she kindly excused herself to help the onslaught of customers forming near the sales counter.

As I walked back out into the afternoon heat I decided to check out New York Pizza, or as the locals affectionately call it, “NYP.” The crowd was a-buzz, enjoying Italian subs, pizza, and drink specials.

I took a moment as I sipped from my Harvest Moon lager to notice that no one was paying any attention

to the college football games being shown on television. In a society where most Americans are glued to the tube, it was nice to see people interacting with one another.

I decided to spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying one of the main attractions the festival provided, music. One group, in particular, got the crowd’s attention. Lead singer Jared Mankoff spat out a free rhyming style that had people yelling shouts of approval, I made my way over to the stage after the band’s set to try and get a moment of his time.

“This was really a great success,” Mankoff said as he helped lug down a tarnished euphonium from the stage. “Everything went to plan.”

When asked what he thought of the festival, Mankoff was quick to say, “Greensboro needs something like this all the time, a place for recreational activities for adults; an adult playground.”

The biggest surprise of the afternoon was when an 11-year-old boy took the stage to perform.

What came out of this young man’s tiny frame was a soul aching sound that quieted the crowd and

made people push forward to get a better look at this small prodigy. Everyone in attendance knew they were witnessing something special. Once he hopped off the stage, I ran over to speak with him.

He asked me to wait as he informed his mother he was being interviewed.

I asked him his name and he told me, “Ranford. Ranford Almond, like the nut.”

He had been playing music since he was six, starting with the violin and picking up the guitar three years ago. He has played at multiple coffee shops and festivals including a performance at
Merlefest. His gigs have even been uploaded on Youtube.

“I would definitely come back to play here again,” he told me when I asked him what he thought about the festival.

Hopefully I, like Ranford Almond, will be back next year.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Guilfordian intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Guilfordian does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Guilfordian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *