Opening night of Hiawatha Music Fest

The 35th annual Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival got underway Friday night in Marquette.

Marquette’s Tourist Park turned into an eclectic music festival that features bands from all over the country on multiple stages.

People can camp on site for the three day event, or come for the day.  Some music lovers make the weekend an annual tradition.

“One of the things I like about the festival is seeing all the people and having nice conversations,” Music Committee Chair for the Hiawatha Festival Charles Ganzert said, who has been working for the festival for twenty years.

“We have people who have been coming here for the entire 35 years.  We have people that claim that they met there spouse here.  So, there’s a lot of people we see that we know.”

Ganzert also said the festival tries to support and encourage traditional music by getting kids involved at a young age.

“We have events and activities for all ages.  We have a children’s parade on Sunday night where the children come up and they sing on the main stage,” Ganzert said.  “On Saturday we during the craft time they’ll be making banjos and guitars out of boxes.  We’re trying to get everyone involved in traditional culture early, and keep them throughout their life.”

Along with plenty of music, the Hiawatha Festival also features food, crafts, and vendors.  For more information, including ticket prices and a festival schedule, you can visit the festival’s website.