Dulcimer FunFest to bring music to Evart

Families play together in a workshop during a previous Original Dulicmer Players Club FunFest. This year, the funfest is set for Thursday, July 19, to Saturday, July 21, at the Osceola County 4-H/FFA Fairgrounds. (Herald Review file photos)

Workshops begin at 9 a.m. and continue through 4 p.m. during the funfest. Those hoping to learn from the pros need only to pay the admission fee for the day or weekend. There is no cost for attending workshops.

EVART — Families, musicians and Evart community members are packing their bags in preparation of a weekend full of music, workshops and more during the 46th annual Original Dulcimer Players Club FunFest.

The funfest, set for July 19 to 21, at the Osceola County 4-H/FFA Fairgrounds, 101 Recreation Ave., Evart, is an all-acoustic event, which was started by hammered dulcimer players Gene Cox and Elgia Hickok, according to the ODPC website.

The event, which quickly grew to be the biggest dulcimer festival in the world, began as a way for Cox and Hickok to keep the tradition of playing hammered dulcimer alive, said Scott Freeman, ODPC board of directors member and event stage and production manager.

“We play old tunes and new tunes,” he said. “Some people come for an evening. Some people come for the weekend. They listen to world-class musicians. It’s wonderful. It’s a little different each night. You never know what is going to happen.”

Freeman said the event has a multi-faceted draw for community members and musicians from across the nation alike — there are plenty of workshops, jam sessions and concerts to keep everyone entertained. Those not interested in the music also will find a variety of craft vendors during the weekend at the fairgrounds.

“There is something for everyone,” Freeman said. “The funfest celebrates so many good things about what we are as a community.”

Freeman noted the music, camping and workshops have a family reunion feel.

There is a minimal admission fee for those hoping to visit the fairgrounds for a day or through the weekend. Camping is available at the fairgrounds on a first-come, first-serve basis. There is no cost for attending workshops. A full funfest schedule can be found at evartdulcimerfest.org.

Along with lessons and jam session centered around the hammered dulcimer, there will be workshops focused on other stringed instruments during this acoustic weekend.

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Posted by Meghan Gunther-Haas

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