Annual Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival begins today

MARQUETTE – The 36th Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival begins today and continues through Sunday at Marquette Tourist Park.

The festival’s main stage roster includes dynamic local, regional, and national artists. Among them, there are several featured reunion performers.

Robin and Linda Williams, regulars on the Prairie Home Companion radio show, will be back in town, as will Susan Werner, a Hiawatha audience favorite from Chicago. In addition, Matt Sayles, a former Marquette resident and member of the band Frost Bitten Grass, is now a member of the Ventucky String Band from California.

The list of highlighted performers also includes a County Sligo-style Irish Band, Teada; North Carolina song writer Jonathan Byrd; Joel Mabus and Ray Kamalay with the String Doctors; acoustic blues band, Harp, Hart and Bones; Run Boy Run, Woodland Sky Native American Dance; and a trio of women from Canada called the Good Lovelies. In addition, Dragon Wagon and Saint Anyway will be the featured bands at the Teen Scene stage on Saturday night.

The 36th Hiawatha Festival begins on today at 7 p.m. (Eastern time) with a Get Acquainted Dance featuring square dance and swing music by Run Boy Run and the String Doctors. A full schedule of activities begins on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. and continues through 10 p.m. Sunday evening. Workshops each day will 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 night, and a variety of food vendors as well. Another Hiawatha tradition is the Artists in the Round art and craft show and sale, which also features a Youth Artists Corner where young people, ages 7 to 17, will sell their handiwork.

Persons can call the Hiawatha Co-op at 906-226-8575 or e-mail for ticket information.