WADENA — Two of the more popular singing groups from past years will again highlight the entertainment schedule for the 21st Old Wadena Rendezvous and Folk Music Festival set for Saturday and Sunday at the Old Wadena County Park just northwest of Staples.
Saturday’s entertainment will be highlighted by two groups that have appeared in past years on the Old Wadena stage and will be: Bill and Kate Isles will perform from 1:30-4 p.m. and Leo and Kathy Lara will take the stage from 12-3 p.m.
Back from the previous year will be Monroe Crossing, a well known bluegrass and folk music group from Minneapolis, who’ll perform from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday. Also back after a year or two away from the Old Wadena stage will be the popular local duo of Dawn and Gary Timbs who’ll perform two sets at noon and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
Both groups will perform Sunday on the Old Wadena stage. A new stage, with funding from the Todd Wadena Cooperative Operation Round-Up program, has just been built by volunteer members of the Old Wadena Society.
The Old Wadena Society, a nonprofit organization, sponsors the annual Old Wadena Rendezvous and Folk Music Festival every second weekend in August at the Old Wadena Park. Part of the group’s mission is to share information about the natural environment and history of the area. The festival showcases two days of acoustic music, storytelling and artists displaying their work.
The Rendezvous Festival includes an encampment of re-enactors who will demonstrate how fur traders lived in the 1840s. Members of the Crow Wing Muzzleloaders Club, dressed in authentic period leather and linen, provide the nucleus of a camp of men and women fur traders, trappers and followers.
Food vendors will be selling fry bread, candy and beverages. Artists and craftsmen expected include Mike Hoffman, blacksmithing; Chuck Richards, portrait/scenery painting on slab wood; Neil Gregory, wood carving; Lowell Bayerkohler, pottery; Gail Johnson, lace making techniques; and Lori Erdman, tea leaf reading.
Family entertainment includes the Clockwork Clown, a fire-eater and mime actor, who has entertained young and old at the rendezvous in previous years. Wadena County native Dick Oehlenschlager, an assistant curator at the Minnesota Science Museum in St. Paul, will present information about the geology and ecology of the Old Wadena Park region. There will be opportunities for children to participate in making a birdhouse to take home, play games from the 1800s and run after candy from the Candy Cannon.
Admission for persons age 12 and older is $10 for the weekend, or $8 for Saturday and $8 for Sunday. Children under age 12 are free.
The Rendezvous is made possible, in part, by support from Five Wings Arts Council, Wadena County, Old Wadena Society member volunteers and Todd-Wadena Operation Round-Up.