Correctional inmates helping setup American Folk Festival

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Volunteers and organizers have been gearing up for the American Folk Festival. Everything kicks off just 24-hours from August 21st, when tens of thousands of people are expected to head to the Bangor Waterfront. The preparation and setup work has been extensive to make this celebration of multi-cultural tradition a memorable one.

There will be dancing, craft making stations, food and storytelling. It's all free to the public to enjoy. Organizers said it wouldn't be possible to stage the festival without the help of 16 inmates from the Charleston Correctional facility. The inmates have spent three days doing the grunt work of getting things set up. The program has been going on for about ten years and allows the inmates to get out and contribute to the community as they finish up their sentence.

Inmate, Bruce Herbert said he wants festival-goers to enjoy the celebration, while he's appreciated learning how to setup the festival.

" We can work as a team together. We are actually trying to turn things around for ourselves instead of keep going down the same path that we've been going down our whole life."

The inmates said they got involved to show themselves and others that they can make a successful transition into the community after being released from prison.


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