Lake Itasca Family Music Festival Bringing Families Together For 14 Years
A music festival in Park Rapids has been bringing families together for 14 years.
“It is so family focused. A lot of things in our world are kind of getting away from the family aspect, so this is kinda foundational in that,” Brandon Ladoux, a Grand Rapids local, said.
Some festival goers have been coming to the event for years. What brings them back to Lake Itasca Family Music Festival is the atmosphere.
“It’s something you can come to as a family and you don’t have to worry about who’s going to be around or what influences are going to be around. Everyone gets along really well, they have just really good character and the people that come here, so good wholesome family values,” Janis VanVeldhuizen of Willmar said.
“It’s the one family public event where you can feel like your kids go run free,” Noel Doebke, a Grand Rapids local, said. “I feel like you have your aunt, and your cousin, and your brother watching everybody, and everybody is watching out for each other’s kids. It’s one of these kind of family festivals, it’s one of the most unique things we’ve ever really experienced.”
Lake Itasca Family Music Festival happens on the first weekend in August every year. The three-day event takes place on the grounds of the Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers in North Central Minnesota. Ken Berge, the founder of the family music festival, said he and his wife started the festival to encourage families to do something good together.
“When our daughters were getting to the age where they were ready to move on, they fell in love – you know what love will do. So, we decided to start a little festival, we weren’t sure what how it would work or if it would continue. But the first year was successful, and we’ve just continued to do it, and it’s continued to grow,” Berge said.
10 bands took to the stage on the second day of the festival, and these performers come from all over the U.S. and Canada.
“We’ve been inspired just by listening to all the other bands. It’s cool to be able to share really the love of Christ through music and help encourage folks around here,” Penny Lea Clark, singer from the Purple Hulls, said.
A lot of the music played at the festival is bluegrass and gospel. Texas natives Penny Lea and Katy Lou Clark of Purple Hulls have been singing since they were little. This was their second year performing at the family festival.
Throughout the festival there are workshops, activities, and music for the whole family.