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BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- The American Folk Festival kicked off today at the Bangor Waterfront. Organizers are hoping over 100,000 people will head down to the waterfront for the three day event.

But the waterfront didn't always draw these types of crowds. In fact, just about a decade ago, there wasn't much there besides a few businesses.

Tanya Emery, Interim Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of Bangor, said the folk festival was key in casting the waterfront as a place for artists, musicians and entertainers to converge.

"I do think that the folk festival played a pivotal role in putting Bangor on the map as a place where arts and culture events and entertainment promoters could really see as a destination," she said.

She also said the economic impact of the event can be felt by many.

"From the city's perspective we love the impact of the folk festival both for arts and culture, but also economics. It brings in visitors from all over the country, all over the world. It's amazing to have a brand that brings people from far flung places year after year to visit Bangor, to stay in hotels, to eat in restaurants," she said.

The American Folk Festival is a free event, but a $10 per person donation is suggested.

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