This weekend is a chance for music lovers to enjoy

This is a weekend for music lovers to rejoice in the Marquette area because the 36th annual Hiawatha Music Festival begins today and runs through Sunday at Tourist Park in Marquette.

Hiawatha brings a variety of traditional-style music to the stage like bluegrass, old-time, Cajun, Celtic, acoustic blues and folk. People will be dancing and singing along with acts both local and national as music fills the park.

But there’s another part of Hiawatha that makes it special: It offers not only organized activities and performances designed for the younger generation, it provides workshops throughout the weekend.

These workshops serve to help keep the traditions of the genre going. For instance, an autoharp workshop with Troy Graham and Annette Watts is set for Saturday morning. In the afternoon Saturday, Cody Lakenen and Bill Hart will lead a blues workshop. On Sunday, a Celtic guitar session is set, while the wonderfully named “Songs My Pappy Taught Me” workshop about family history through music will be put on by Jonathan Byrd, the Ventucky String Band and Run Boy Run.

Also, the organizers of the Hiawatha Music Festival are always open to new, fun ideas. For instance, in the past several years, they have come up with themes for decorating contests in the camping areas of Tourist Park, with prizes awarded. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Traditional Music,” so fitting for a festival that does just that.

If you’ve never been, we encourage you to check out Hiawatha one of these years. For more information, visit hiawathamusic.org.

We salute the Hiawatha Music Co-Op for putting so much work in year round to make the festival the amazing event it is. These dedicated folks make it look easy but we know a great deal of effort is put forth to bring together so many people from so many places for a weekend that helps keep traditional music alive.