Hiawatha Music Fest this weekend

The Hiawatha Music Co-op will host the 34th Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival, beginning Friday, July 20th. It continues through Sunday, July 22nd. The event, which takes place at the Tourist Park in Marquette, includes music, dance, crafts, food, and fun for the whole family.

This year’s Hiawatha main stage roster reads like a guitar summit with performers that six-string fans will enjoy. The line-up features hot, fingerpicking guitar champion, Dan Crary, and his band, Thunderation; Canadian bluesman and Juno Award recipient, Ray Bonneville; and guitar stylist and songwriter, Pat Donohue.

Donohue will be familiar to many Public Radio fans for his work as a regular member of the Prairie Home Companion cast. He has performed in Marquette, both at the festival and in concert, in the past as a solo artist, but this time, he is playing with the Prairie Home All-Stars.

Ruth Moody, another familiar artist, first came to the festival with the Canadian stringband, Scruj MacDuhk. She is now a member of the Wailin’ Jennies; but this year, she is performing with her own band. Cedric Watson, a Texas-born fiddler, accordionist, singer, and songwriter will be playing Louisiana Creole music with the band, Bijou Creole.

Regional performers on the main stage will include Josh Davis of downstate Michigan, who is part of the Earth Works Music Co-op and a member of the popular band, Steppin’ In It. Pert’ Near Sandstone is a youthful, edgy, high-energy fiddle band from Minnesota. And the Wild Goose Chase Cloggers, also natives of the North Star State, will be performing and hosting dance workshops throughout the weekend.

Two of the local acts include Lumber Jakki, featuring Les Ross, Sr., Oren Tikkanen, and Randy Seppala, three outstanding traditional musicians with Scandinavian roots; and Jim Pennell and Ray Dollar of Marquette.

The 34th Hiawatha Festival begins with a Get Acquainted Dance on Friday night with sets by Lumber Jakki, the Wild Goose Chase Cloggers, and Cedric Watson and Bijou Creole. The bon times continue on Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 AM with workshops that include a mix of local and main stage performers. There will also be a Children’s Area with music and crafts; special activities for teens on Saturday and Sunday, with a Teen Dance on Saturday night; and a variety of food vendors on hand as well. An additional festival tradition is the Artists in the Round art and craft show and sale, coordinated by the Oasis Gallery in Marquette.

There will be one minor change in Park access this year. Because of Hiawatha set-up and pre-Festival camping, the Tourist Park will be closed to the general public beginning at 3 p.m., Thursday, July 19.

To learn more about the festival or to order tickets on-line, visit the Hiawatha Music Co-op website at www.hiawathamusic.org. Tickets, camping registration for weekend ticket-buyers, volunteer sign-up forms, and information about Hiawatha Music Co-op memberships are also available through the Music Co-op office at 129 W. Baraga Suite C., located just west of the Marquette Food Co-op and the U.P Children’s Museum. Pre-Festival ticket hours are noon to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, through July 17th , except July 4. Or you can call the Music Co-op at 906-226-8575 or e-mail info@hiawathamusic.org. Advanced ticket sales will end Tuesday, July 17th.

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