Hiawatha music fest promises great weekend

Midsummer is upon us, and with it comes the 41st annual Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival.

The event will feature traditional music performances, dances, workshops and more.

Starting Friday, attendees from all walks of life will converge upon Tourist Park in Marquette, in what Festival Director Susan Divine calls an inclusive experience.

“We just want people to know, whether it’s your first time to the park or you attend every year, we welcome you with open arms,” Divine said. “It’s a chance for people to come away from their everyday lives and have a moment to camp and be in nature — to sit down and take a breath and listen to great music. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

The organizers are seeking a few more locals to help out during the festivities.

“We are still looking for volunteers. We have about 70% of our volunteer slots filled up, so people can go on our website at hiawathamusic.org and click on the link for our volunteer sign-up,” Divine said. “Volunteers are what make the festival a fun and smooth weekend for everyone.”

Main-stage musicians include Lula Wiles, The Barn Owls, The Po’ Ramblin Boys, Old Salt Union T-Mart Rounders, Jeffrey Foucault with Kris Delmhorst, Red Tail Ring, Sumkali and Devil in the Woodpile.

There are also a few new additions to the festival itself, Divine said.

First-time festivalgoers are invited to attend an orientation from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday to participate in a tour of the Hiawatha grounds, meet new friends, get information about the schedule and the benefits of becoming a Hiawatha Music Co-op member, she said.

If you have never been to Hiawatha, this year’s lineup would be a fantastic way to start. We advise anyone who is free this weekend to consider volunteering for the festival. One of the most fulfilling experiences during the annual event can be offering to share your time and talents, Divine said.

Weekend passes for adults, seniors and teens between the ages of 13 and 17 are $85, while children ages 6 to 12 are $5. Single-day tickets are $25 for the Friday night dance, or $50 for Saturday or Sunday single-day passes.

Divine said she is excited to see what this year’s festival brings, and hopes to see even more local attendees.

“We have a jewel right in our backyard,” she said. “I hope more people from the area can come out. Being in a beautiful environment and hearing great music just feeds your soul.”

For more information on the festival, visit www.hiawathamusic.org.