A long-running event will take over Newton Hills State Park near Canton this weekend as the Sioux River Folk Festival enters its 38th year of existence.

The Friends of Traditional Music organizes the three-day excursion. President Greg Schmitz says to have such a long-running tradition is simple, but not easy.

“It has to be first and foremost about the music. Acts from the region, nationally, quite a few European and Asian acts have come and played the festival. We try to have a lot of variety even though our event says, ‘Folk Fest’. We’ve had blues, zydeco and jazz, with just about every genre you can imagine from year to year.”

One of the acts on the schedule had to prove their worth at the Folk Off Musician Competition at Strawbale Winery the week before and Schmitz says they were up to the challenge.

“Everybody’s eyes popped open when they launched into their first song. It’s a high-energy group with two powerful voices with a guy on the percussion box that does magic with that thing. The group is called ‘Lil Red and the Medicated Moose Band’ from Elk Point South Dakota of all places.”

Additionally, for the third consecutive year the festival has been the catalyst for musician reunions with this year’s reboot featuring the Rocky Mountain Oyster Band. The extravaganza begins Friday (August 3) and lasts through Sunday.

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