"One drunk duck dropped into the ditch, and the other drunk dropped over dead."
A group of children sang this ditty to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" yesterday at the third annual Washington Folk Festival at Glen Echo Park.
With all that water pouring out of the sky, it was a day made for drunk ducks. But the festival had no intention of dropping dead.
The acts that had been scheduled to perform outside moved inside the various antique structures at the park, and the festival sailed forth.
Attendance dropped from the 7,000 figure that had been estimated on sunny Saturday. Still, more than 1,000 folklore fans found their way to Glen Echo yesterday.
The performers were all from the Washington area, but their music and dance and crafts represented traditions from many continents. The Folklore Society of Greater Washington and the National Park Service cosponsored the festival.
Ensemble East took over the park's Adventure Theatre and presented a half-four of Armenian music.
Tanya De Kona, 19, of Tokoma Park, was so inspired by the four piece band's sinuous sounds that she ventured onto the stage for some impromptu belly dancing.
"Oba," called out the group's kanoon player, Leo Sarkisian. A kanoon is an accident 65-string instrument, and "oba," roughly translated into Spanish, means "ole."
"I thought it would be a blast," said De Kona later. "And being Armenian [third generation] had a lot to do with going out there." However, she found that once she was on stage "the audience was bigger than I thought, and I wasn't dressed right."
It is not advisable to wear tight jeans and a turtleneck sweater while belly-dancing, she learned.
Across the park in the Spanish Ballroom, an American of Lithuanian/Hungarian/Irish/Russian descent led a group through some vigorous English morris dances.
Laurie Anres, 25, is the "squire" of Foggy Bottom Morris, a "team" of devotees of traditional English dancing. They rehearse once a week at a school in Foggy Bottom and perform at festivals, on street corners, and in whatever pubs they can find in Washington.
"You always feel a little giddy after these things," said Andres while wiping away the sweat after his performance. The group attended a festival in Vermont recently, he said, which was "totally pagan. For a whole weekend all you do is dance and drink."
The drinking at the Washington Folk Festival was limited to fruit juices and natural sodas from Yes! the Georgetown restaurant.
Any ducks who swam by were not likely to get drunk. But they could dance until they dropped dead. CAPTION: Picture, Dancing at the folk festival, by James A. Parcell - The Washington Post