Spirit of the Woods Folk Festival draws large crowd

BRETHREN — Many people associate the Spirit of the Woods Music Association’s Folk Festival with the sounds of beautiful music.

The musical group Peace Love Music featuring the sounds of Sandra McLean, Cheryl Wolfram and Jeri Dziabuda entertained the crowd at the 41st Annual Spirit of the Woods Folk Festival on Saturday in the Dickson Township Park.

The musical group Peace Love Music featuring the sounds of Sandra McLean, Cheryl Wolfram and Jeri Dziabuda entertained the crowd at the 41st Annual Spirit of the Woods Folk Festival on Saturday in the Dickson Township Park.

Although it is true that the music is second to none, the festival that has been going strong for the past 41 years in the Dickson Township Park every June is much more than that to most people. For many it is like a giant family reunion that takes place every year where friends, family and anyone who loves the sound of good folk music come together to share fellowship, laughter and good family fun.

Scattered throughout the crowd are sometimes three generations of families. Children who came to the festival as small children with their parents are now back with their own kids. However, two things that haven’t changed is the great music and the fun.

Hundreds filled the Dickson Park on Saturday and although rain showers briefly threatened to fall the show did go on with some great groups performing. Those groups performing this year included the Raion Taikio Team, Betse and Clark, Dominic and Rachel Davis, Roger Brown and the Big Time Express, Miriam Pico, Cheryl Wolfram & Peace and Love Music and Drive South Band.

Wanda Joseph, who is one of the founding members of the Spirit of the Woods Music Association, said they are always looking at mixing up the traditional and new sounds in folk music.

One of the many fun activities for kids at the Spirit of the Woods Folk Festival was creating giant bubbles and then sending them on their way by blowing on the them.

One of the many fun activities for kids at the Spirit of the Woods Folk Festival was creating giant bubbles and then sending them on their way by blowing on the them.

“We like to introduce the community to the folk music scene in Michigan, but also introduce artists to the folk listeners in the area,” said Joseph. “We try to create a balance of celebrating richness of the music scene.”

The park was filled with people from all walks of life who brought lawn chairs and sat for hours listening to all the groups that performed. There were also fun games for the kids to participate in including making giant bubbles that proved to be a hit with everyone in the crowd.

A second stage was also set up where people could listen to a variety of performers in a step-back-in-time type of format where they sat on bales of hale to enjoy the performance.

There also was plenty of opportunity to enjoy lots of food from vendors and the opportunity to purchase tie dye designed clothing and other items that vendors had on sale.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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