SARATOGA SPRINGS — Schenectady resident Rachel Casler pored over the Flurry 2018 program at the Saratoga Springs City Center on Saturday morning.
It was Casler's first time at the three-day, 31st annual music and dance festival.
"I'm figuring out where to start and what workshops I want to attend," she said. "I've never attended anything like this."
Casler has been passionate about dance for more than a decade and has participated in hip hop, jazz and ballet classes.
"This is a great way to hopefully meet new people and find out about what dance opportunities there are," she said.
The Flurry has grown from a one-day festival that attracted a few hundred people to a three-day festival that draws about 5,000 people, said Administrative Director Tamara Flanders.
"It has a strong following," she said. "It's unique, because it's an international music and dance festival, so it runs the full spectrum."
Events include performances, dance classes and instrument workshops.
"There's a huge variety, so there's something for everyone," Flanders said. "It exposes people to music and dance they don't see or hear everyday."
Amy Jesaitis of Albany has been attending the Flurry for 25 years and volunteering at the event for the past 20 years.
"It's gotten much bigger and more diverse over the years," she said. "There's a great variety of activities to participate in."
Jesaitis said the festival gives people a chance to take a break.
"There are so many negative things happening in this world and this gives people an opportunity to forget about the world and just have fun," she said.
John Krause, like Jesaitis, has attended the Flurry for nearly 25 years.
"It's fun and as much as it is about dancing and music, it's also about the friends you meet," he said. "I've met people from all over the country."
Krause travelled from Washington, D.C. to attend Saturday's event with his wife, Kathy, who he met while at a ballroom dancing class in D.C.
"There's such a wide vareity of dancing and workshops," Kathy said. "It's a wonderful experience."
Krause said he hopes the festival continues on for years to come.
Flanders said as the Flurry continues to draw more people every year, she and other event coordinators may explore options to expand it.
"It attracts so many people, so we might be looking to add more venues in Saratoga Springs," she said. "We want it to keep going for as long as possible."
The Flurry continues on Sunday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at Saratoga Springs City Center, 522 Broadway in Saratoga Springs.
For more information, visit www.flurryfestival.org.