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Perham's Pioneer Festival features great lineup of folk artists and musicians

Take a step back in time this weekend at Perham's 35th annual Pioneer Festival, held at the Pioneer Grounds a half mile north of Perham on County Road 8.

From 7 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 19, to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20, the Pioneer Grounds will be filled with folk art demonstrations in spinning, lace making, wood carving and soap making as well as threshing and log sawing. Kids can help make soap or participate in felt making (messy but fun). Then, parents can watch their children saw logs at the sawmill, thresh oats, or accompany them on a tour of the Westby House, an original log cabin homestead where pioneer women will show visitors what it was like in the "good old days."

And let's not forget the live entertainment. Jack Norton and the Mullet River Boys will perform three times on Saturday, with an eclectic yet entertaining blend of old-time comedy, bluegrass music and vaudeville. Also performing Saturday are the ever-popular Granary Girls, Patty Kakac and Jodi Ritter, plus the Lakes Country Band, who will provide the music for an old-time dance in the evening.

Sunday's entertainment lineup includes the Uff Da Mountain Boys, Fiddle and Squeeze -- consisting of Jessican Kroll, violin, and Jurgen Brunkhorst, accordion -- and Paul Imholte, better known as "The Stringman" for the amazing array of string instruments that he plays.

Other activities include a Kid's Pedal Tractor Pull by the Perham Lions, followed by a Coin Hunt, a Flower Show by the Lady Slipper Garden Club and a pre-1840 fur trade re-enactment event by the Lake Country Mountaineers. Throughout the day food will be served at the Pioneer Café and ice cream at the general store.

Admission to the Pioneer Festival is $3 per person or $5 for the whole family. Children under 12 are admitted free of charge.

For more information call 218-346-7676 or visit

Pioneer Fest schedule

Saturday, Aug. 19: 7 a.m., Perham Lakes Lions Breakfast begins; 8 a.m., flag raising by the Perham VFW; 10 a.m.-5 p.m., folk art demonstrations; 10 a.m., noon and 5 p.m., Jack Norton and the Mullet River Boys; 1-4 p.m., Lady Slipper Garden Club flower show; 3 p.m., Granary Girls; 8 p.m., Lakes Country Band performs, with old-time dancing in the Grand View Heights Ballroom.

Sunday, Aug. 20: 7 a.m., VFW, American Legion and Auxiliaries serve breakfast; 8 a.m., flag raising by the Perham VFW; 9 a.m., open air church service with Gospel music by the Uff Da Mountain Boys; 11 a.m.-4 p.m., folk art demonstrations; 11 a.m., pie and ice cream served by the Auxiliary; 11 a.m., concert by Uff Da Mountain Boys; noon-3 p.m., Paul Imholte, "The Stringman" strolls the grounds and performs; 12 noon, kids' pedal tractor pull and coin hunt; 1 p.m., concert by Fiddle & Squeeze; 3 p.m., Paul Imholte concert.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454