Exploring the Hiawatha Music Festival’s history

Exploring the Hiawatha Music Festival’s history

MARQUETTE — The newest exhibit at the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center highlights one of the Upper Peninsula’s most popular music festivals.

Music in the Pines: Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival tells the history of the festival, featuring programs, posters, and other artifacts.  The Hiawatha Music Fest began in the 1970s in Munising, moved to Champion, and finally settled in Marquette.  The festival has grown into a mulch-generational gathering.

“I’ll look at programs from recent years and I’ll see performers who came to the festival as children who are now main stage performers and part of the reason they’re touring artists traveling all across the United States is because as children they came to this festival and were inspired to make music,” Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center director and curator Daniel Truckey said.

Most of the artifacts on display are from the Hiawatha Music Festival’s own archives.

“People who have also been involved for many years have loaned us everything from the original minutes of the meetings of the festival committee to posters to instruments…we have this tent that was given to us.  It’s been used at the festival for over twenty years, so stuff like that just came out of the woodwork and people said ‘You have to have this for the exhibit’ and it’s really going to make it a special thing,” Truckey said.

There is a grand opening for the exhibit Saturday from 1-3 p.m., featuring music and refreshments.

Truckey said the heritage center will be hosting other events and workshops to coincide with the exhibit, which runs through January 31.  More information on the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center can be found by clicking here.