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Village Fair: two days, three stages

By Staff | Aug 8, 2014

Submitted photo Minot-based Celtic band GreenMan will take the main stage during the Village Fair on Sunday. Band members (from left to right) Russ Hanson, Steve Files, Kari Files and Justin Rasch.

One thing that changes from year-to-year at the Village Fair is the entertainment.

“Every year we try to do something just a little bit different,” said Prairie Village Museum director Cathy Jelsing.

And with a two-day fair, this year is no exception.

Today, while the Western Canadian Wheelwright’s Association conducts wheel-making demonstrations, an old-time band called the Dakota Playboys of New Rockford will play. Together for more than 50 years, the band’s membership consists of Mike Williams on guitar, Quentin Georgeson on fiddle and Doug Smith on piano.

Three bands will play on three stages during Sunday’s festivities.

Taking the main stage this year is Minot-based Celtic music group GreenMan. Performing together since 1997, the group consists of Russ Hanson (guitar), Justin Rasch (fiddle), Steve Files (bodhran) and his wife, Kari (citterna, accordion and whistles). They performed educational concerts in area schools, Irish heritage events, the Fargo Celtic Festival, and North Dakota Museum of Art’s Concerts in the Garden series.

“I think they’re going to be really fun and energetic,” Jelsing said. “I’m guessing people who listen to their performance will learn more about the different kinds of Celtic music and traditions.”

GreenMan will perform at 1:15 p.m. and 4 p.m.

At 11:30 a.m. and 2:15 p.m., 14-year-old pop and country singer Brittan Grubb, of Mandan, will perform on the caboose stage. She started singing at 6 years old, and several North Dakotans heard her rendition of the national anthem at the State Class B Boys’ Basketball tournament when she was in fourth grade. Since then, she’s performed at Bismarck-Mandan’s Applefest, Shrine Circus shows, and was one of several performers in last year’s Music in the Park in Rugby. She also plays guitar, piano and trumpet.

“I think it’s always fun to see a young person perform,” Jelsing said of Grubb. “It should be fun to have her here, she does a lot of different kinds of music.”

At 12:15 p.m. and 3 p.m., Highway 43 will perform on the bandstand stage. Consisting of Ron Hett (lead guitar, vocals, mandolin, harmonica and banjo), Dick Johnson (lead vocals and guitar) and his wife, Brenda (bass), the Turtle Mountain-based band came together in 2007 and has performed at the Norsk Hostfest and Frozen Fingers Festival in Minot. The band has an extensive repertoire that includes Civil War-era tunes and original songs.

“They’re the crowdpleasers,” Jelsing said. “They’re gonna play a little bit of everything, a little bit of country, a little bit of familiar rock and roll, a little bit of bluegrass.”

In addition to the three bands on Sunday, Glenda Mack will play piano in the Almquist building from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.. Both Vicky Harmel and Edie Wurgler will lead a songfest in the saloon. Wurgler and Carol Braaten will also lead a hymn sing from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Zion Lutheran Church.

Jelsing got the idea for three stages from a music festival in Minnesota. In past years, all performers took to the stage in the Sandven building.

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