“An event that plays on the multicultural nature of our city was perfect.”

Josh Sherrick, 37, Culture Coordinator

If you were one of the sweaty masses who crammed into downtown on a Saturday night last September, dancing with Grand Master Flash, you should thank Josh Sherrick.

Josh, the City of Greensboro’s arts and events superintendent, was one of key, behind-the-scenes folks making National Folk Festival magic for the last three years. And that included making sure there was a plan to shut down Washington Street when 5,000 people flooded the area to dance to the festival’s headliner.

The Ohio native moved to the Triad for a gig at the Joel Coliseum fresh out of college. There he organized major sporting events, minor league hockey, and even the Dixie Classic Fair.

“It was a great. I loved it,” he says. “That was a fast-paced job that required a lot of coordination.”

Josh attended UNC-G to get his master’s degree in Public Affairs and later joined the City of Greensboro staff, organizing special events. It was in that post that Josh became one of the people who convinced the National Council for the Traditional Arts that it should bring the folk fest to Greensboro.

“I’d been looking for a new event to pitch or to draw here that really reflected the diversity of our community,” Josh says. “An event that plays on the multicultural nature of our city was perfect.”

After years of planning and countless site visits, conference calls, and long nights, the festival has become the largest public event the City hosts.  This weekend the festival will lure more than 100,000 people to downtown. Josh will be the guy running around, fixing tents, moving chairs, making sure the police are in the right spot, managing waste removal, and every other little thing you didn’t know made the massive festival run smoothly.

Josh says events like the Folk Festival are possible in Greensboro, because City departments and community organizations are willing to work together to get things accomplished.

“Plan for rain,” Josh jokes. “Then when it doesn’t rain, it’s a success.”

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