2013 Wheatland Music Festival: Friends and family celebrate ‘Happy Wheatland’

 

DANCING: Andrew McDonald, of Toronto, dances with his daughter Niamh, 9, during the performance of Big Sand and His Fly-Rite Boys on Saturday at the 2013 Wheatland Music Festival. (Pioneer Photo/Lonnie Allen)

DANCING: Andrew McDonald, of Toronto, dances with his daughter Niamh, 9, during the performance of Big Sand and His Fly-Rite Boys on Saturday at the 2013 Wheatland Music Festival. (Pioneer Photo/Lonnie Allen)

REMUS — As artists performed music and dance was taught, friends and families camped together, to celebrate a “Happy Wheatland.”

“If the whole world was like Wheatland, it would be a much happier place,” said Lori Rivard, of Saginaw. “I don’t worry about my safety because everyone seems to get along.”

Nearly 15,000 attendees danced, ate and camped during the weekend Wheatland Music Festival in Remus. The crafts, workshops, and music gives people many reasons to attend.

Rivard and her friends come to the weekend festival each year for a “girl’s weekend.” Rivard and her friends, Maureen Hoppe, of Bay City, and Tracy Smith, of Saginaw have attended the festival for five years now and plan to do it again next year.

“We definitely, try to come every year,” Rivard said. “There are 13 of us camping here this year.”

SWINGING HOOPS: Ashton Matson, 9, of Grand Haven has fun playing with his hulu hoop on Saturday during the 2013 Wheatland Music Festival in Remus. (Pioneer Photo/Lonnie Allen)

SWINGING HOOPS: Ashton Matson, 9, of Grand Haven has fun playing with his hulu hoop on Saturday during the 2013 Wheatland Music Festival in Remus. (Pioneer Photo/Lonnie Allen)

Some of the women in the group camping, started coming to Wheatland before Rivard. She was invited one year and Rivard was glad she attended.

“Once you come to Wheatland you want to come back,” Rivard said. “There is so much to do here and you can do as much or as little as you want.”

For Sawn Matson, of Grand Haven, the festival marks the end of summer.

“I just can’t see, not coming to Wheatland,” Matson said. “The year’s last camping trip and the best one at that.”

Matson has attended the festival with his family and friends for 12 years. His son Ashton, 9, has attended for seven years.

“I love Wheatland,” Ashton said. “It is awesome and I like seeing all the cool campers from last year.”

According to Matson, there are about 20 people they camp next to while attending the festival.

“Wheatland is a great time with friends and family,” Matson said. “We look forward to the festival each year by counting down the days.”

The weekend festival was full of families who love folk, bluegrass and traditional American music. Bela Fleck was a returning favorite for festival attendees along with Abigail Washburn and Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys.

SONG: Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys perform on the main stage on Saturday during the 2013 Wheatland Music Festival. (Pioneer Photo/Lonnie Allen)

SONG: Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys perform on the main stage on Saturday during the 2013 Wheatland Music Festival. (Pioneer Photo/Lonnie Allen)

Each act at the festival had the crowds entertained and dance stage entertained attendees. On Saturday, Rodney Sutton taught flatfooting dance. In flatfoot, dancers keep their feet close to the ground.

“I never tried flatfooting before,” said Carol Schadd, of Bad Axe. “It’s a lot of fun.”

 

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Posted by Lonnie Allen

Lonnie is the Pioneer's city/county reporter. He also coordinates the Gardens and Growers page. He can be reached by phone at (231) 592-8328 or by e-mail at lallen@pioneergroup.com.

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