U.P. Folklife Fest March 12-22

A concert tonight headlined by Celtic duo John Williams and Dean Magraw will open the second Upper Peninsula Folklife Festival at NMU. The celebration continues through March 22 and includes music, dancing, craft demonstrations, workshops and a folklore symposium. The festival is presented by the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center, an on-campus museum dedicated to preserving and presenting U.P. history and culture. A detailed schedule of events can be found at U.P. Folklife. A general listing follows. All events are free unless otherwise noted.

Thursday, March 12: Opening concert at 7 p.m. in Forest Roberts Theatre featuring John Williams and Dean Magraw; Les Ross Sr. and the Finnish-American All-Stars; Ditibasin, the Hannahville Indian Community drum group, and a presentation of the U.P. Folk Legacy Award to the late John Perona. Tickets: $6 for students, $15 for faculty/staff and seniors over 60 and $20 for the general public.

Friday, March 13: Premiere of Ojibwe Birch Bark Wigwam documentary by NMU sociology professor and filmmaker Michael Loukinen (Sociology), 7 p.m. in Jamrich Hall 102. Donations encouraged.

Tuesday, March 17: Ethnic dance lessons led by the NMU International Dancers, 7 p.m. in the Superior Room of the University Center. No experience or partner required.

Friday, March 20: Upper Peninsula Folklore Symposium, 1-5:30 p.m. in Mead Auditorium in the West Science Building. The order of presentations is “Rag Rug Weaving in the Upper Peninsula,” “Heikki Lunta: An Original Upper Michigan Finnish Folk Hero,” “Nordic Legends in the New World: The Case of Big Erick Erickson,” “Sounding Like a Yooper: The Idea of a Regional Dialect,” “Where Did the Cudighi Come From?” and “Evolution of the Yooper Identity.” Also on Friday, March 20, a “Kick Your Heels Funky-Folk Dance” will be held in the Explorer Rooms of the University Center from 7-11:30 p.m. Featured bands are Grass Monkey, Conga Se Menne and The PasiCats.

Saturday, March 21: Traditional arts and craft presentations, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Peter White Lounge of the University Center. Demonstrations include chainsaw carving, ski making, Norwegian Krokbragd weaving, barn wood furniture and spoon carving, among others. Storytelling and music performances will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the University Center Pioneer Rooms, featuring storyteller James Couling of Twilight Walking Tours followed by musical artists Maple Sugar Folk, Tanya Stanaway and Dave Berry, and a bones workshop with Randy Seppala.

Sunday, March 22: Ethnic Folk Dance, noon to 3:30 in the Great Lakes Rooms of the University Center. Featured performers: Bette Premo and the Front Parlor Dance Band, Marquette Folk Dancers, Wil Kilpela and Friends, Marquette Folk Dancers and The Thimbleberry Band. Traditional arts and craft presentations (same as Saturday) will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Peter White Lounge.


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Updated: March 12, 2009

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