For the 39th year the Shawano Folk Music Festival is coming to town this weekend at the Meilke Arts Center on Airport Road in Shawano.
It’s a family weekend with an eclectic mix of music, dance and activities. Performances can be heard Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and features the likes of Stanton West, Anne Hills, the Green Bay Pickers, Jack Williams and many other talented musicians.
“There’s 500 years of experience and that’s not an exaggeration,” said Joel Kroenke, who has helped the festival in all 39 years. “Many of these people like Jack Williams have been out there the last 50 years. Anne Hills is probably universally known as one of the top folk singers in America. Jack Williams has been out there forever. There’s just a wealth of talent.”
He adds part of the beauty of folk music at their festival is the nostalgia that it help invokes.
“One of my observations is that teenagers are looking at their cellphones and I think teenagers of our generation were making their own music,” he believes. “I think there’s a lot to be said for creating one’s own music and sharing it widely. That’s a wonderful tradition and we celebrate that at our festival.”
Performances begin Friday at 7 p.m. Daytime programs will be start at 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday with evening concerts beginning at 7 p.m. The festival wraps up Sunday with performances from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.