Volunteering is a Family Affair for Father Daughter Duo
The sounds of the American Folk Festival have attracted thousands to the Bangor Waterfront but for this father-daughter duo the festival is more than music, it’s about spending quality time together. “I wasn’t really sure what my job was going to be but thinking that I would be working with him made me more comfortable and I was excited to meet new artists and new people so it was fun.”Michelle Mulherin and her father Bill began volunteering at the folk festival eight years ago.Since then, it’s become a family tradition.”It does, it seems like that first festival was forever ago and it doesn’t seem like 8 years was that long ago,” says Michelle.For three days Michelle and Bill can be found at the waterfront working round the clock with artists, taking donations and making sure the event runs smoothly.While they may be the only members of the mulherin clan volunteering, the Folk Festival is all in the family.”They come down and visit us and we have certain groups we’ll go backstage to meet the bands so they enjoy it and they get the little perks.”Being veteran volunteers Bill and Michelle have developed quite the collection of memories and t-shirts.Michelle was just 16 years old when she first volunteered. Now 24, her journey has paralleled some important milestones in her own life.”2005 I was graduating high school so I had just graduated but then I volunteered that year and you know there’s a lot going on and I started going to college so it definitely ties everything together that’s happened.”With each Folk Festival there are new memories to be made and Bill and Michelle say they are looking forward to what this year has in store but for bill one will always stand out from the rest. The time he met the Queen of Rockabilly, Wanda Jackson.”She actually was a good friend of Elvis Presley and had a ring that Elvis Presley had given her and she had a pink guitar and one day at the hotel she sang a song for me at the hotel.”For Michelle and Bill volunteering is a labor of love that they hope to continue as long as the festival remains in Bangor.