Under the direction of Estelle Klein, Jeanine Hollingshead coordinated the festival programme in 1979. She emphasized the growth and quality of the crafts component of Mariposa and most specifically the crafts of Labrador, as well as the development of the focus on folk music geared toward children. The Mariposa in the Schools program was by that point, well established and it was widely known that other festivals followed Mariposa by adding concerts designed for children into their own programmes. Performances included Bessie Jones, Sandra Beech, Sandy Byer, Mick Seeger, Chick Roberts, Dave Essig and Na Cabar Feidh.
1979 also featured a special pavalion of Labrador craftspeople, musicians and storytellers.