CALUMET — Despite intermittent rain showers over the weekend, record attendance was reported in Calumet as many came to show their love of music and the outdoors.
Music, camping, fun, and games was the weekend scene at the Calumet Lions park Friday and Saturday as folks came from across the Keweenaw and beyond to take part in the third annual Dam Jam music festival.
“It’s a wonderful thing to have so many people together having a good time, and that’s the biggest thing is that we get to have a lot of fun this weekend.” Said, James Newman who co founded the event.
As the festival continues to grow and evolve, the music line up has changed a little over the past three years.
“Our first year was all local. We’ve been able to bring in some bands such as Erik Koskinen and Conga Se Menne from out of town that have some local roots. We’ve been able to bring in more vendors and more people. We’re probably closing in on 1000 people over the course of the weekend. We’ve been able to really expand… expand the jam,” Newman stated.
With over 20 musical acts throughout the weekend, show goers heard some of their favorite tunes, and a few new ones as well all still true to the UP music scene.
He also added, “We Love the music and we want to spread our love of music and be able to raise money for good causes and have a lot of fun.”
Many of the proceeds raised go towards improvements at the park. Last years efforts paid for the construction and installation of outhouses. Future projects planned include the construction of a pavilion, and the installation of permanent electricity. This year and previous Dam Jams have been powered completely by generators.
Another way that the event gives back to the community is in the form of food donations.
“We have a can drive every Saturday of the Dam Jam for New Beginnings Angel Mission to help with the food pantry in Calumet.” Said Newman.
Instead of paying the $20 admission price on Saturday, patrons who brought a comparable value in non perishable food items got in at no charge, with all of the donated items forwarded to the mission, who gives food, clothing and other goods to area families.
As this years festival has come to a close, Newman says that he and his team are already looking ahead and planning for next year.
“It’s been a lot of work and a lot of fun to see how things have changed over the last 3 years and we hope to make it 4, 5, 6, and 7 as well.” Newman concluded.