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Old Wadena event to bring back popular groups

Two of the more popular singing groups from past years will again highlight the entertainment schedule for the Old Wadena Rendezvous and Folk Music Festival, a press release sent to the Pioneer Journal said.

The event is set for Aug. 11-12 at the Old Wadena County Park, just northwest of Staples.

Back from the previous year will be Monroe Crossing, a well-known bluegrass and folk music group from Minneapolis. Also back after a year or two away from the Old Wadena stage will be the popular local duo of Dawn and Gary Timbs.

Saturday's afternoon entertainment will be highlighted by two others groups that have appeared in past years at Old Wadena. Bill and Kate Isles will present their program at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. That duet will follow Leo and Kathy Lara, who will take the stage at 12 noon and 3 p.m.

The Old Wadena Society, a nonprofit organization, sponsors the annual Old Wadena Rendezvous and Folk Music Festival every second weekend in August at the Old Wadena Park. The group, which will be presenting their 21st annual rendezvous, shares information about the natural environment and history of the area. The festival showcases two days of great acoustic music, storytelling, food and artists and artisans displaying their work. 

The Rendezvous Festival also includes an encampment of re-enactors who will demonstrate how fur traders lived in the 1840s. Members of the Crow Wing Muzzleloaders Club, dressed in authentic period leather and linen, will provide the nucleus of a camp of men and women fur traders, trappers and followers.

Family entertainment includes the Clockwork Clown, a fire-eater and mime actor who has entertained young and old at the rendezvous in previous years. Wadena County native Dick Oehlenschlager, an assistant curator at the Minnesota Science Museum in St. Paul, will also present interesting information about the geology and ecology of the Old Wadena Park region.

There will be opportunities for kids to participate in making a birdhouse to take home, play games from the 1800s and run after candy from the Candy Cannon. 

The Rendezvous is made possible, in part, by support from Five Wings Arts Council, Wadena County, Old Wadena Society member volunteers and Todd-Wadena Operation Round-Up.