At the Pioneer Village Museum this weekend is the 14th annual Bluegrass Festival.
Music starts Friday, Sept. 6, at 5 p.m., and continues through the weekend to Sunday afternoon, Sept. 8. Food and refreshments will be available all weekend, along with acoustic instrument workshops on Saturday, and a limited number of campsites.
Barron County Historical Society, which runs the museum, and Wisconsin Indianhead Country are partnering to host the festival and second annual Arts & Crafts Fair. With help from a $9,143, Year 2 Joint Effort Marketing grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, organizers are looking to grow the festival and attract bluegrass fans from across the Midwest.
The family-friendly festival includes nationally and locally known bluegrass bands, music workshops, instrument sales, arts and crafts sales, regional cuisine and children’s activities. Grant funds went toward print, radio, digital and outdoor advertising to promote the event to attendees from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. The event is expected to attract 2,000 visitors to the area, generating an estimated $136,832 in visitor spending.
“This year’s bluegrass and arts festival promises to be bigger and better than ever,” said Pioneer Village Museum Director Tammy Schutz. “We are pleased to be the recipient of Wisconsin Tourism’s JEM grant, as it gives us the opportunity to get the word out about this great event.”
Visitors will be entertained by great music, including the Stringsmiths, the Double Down Daredevils, the John & Rose Band, River City Ramblers, Highview, St. Paul Mudsteppers, Gospel Notes, Maple Ridge, R Country Offspring, Tommy Brown and the County Line Grass and the Kody Norris Show.
Tommy Brown as a third-generation musician who started picking at the age of 6. Kody Norris combines top-notch picking with humor and flashy costumes.
Music goes from 5–9 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Entry, per person, is $10 on Friday, $15 per person on Saturday and $10 on Sunday, or $30 for the whole weekend. Entry cost for kids, 5–12, is $5 each day.
The festival will be held rain or shine. Patrons are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets as the nights may be cool. Lunch and refreshments are available for purchase on the grounds. Wine and beer will be available for purchase. Carry-ins are not allowed.
Museum buildings and displays will be open for touring from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The restaurant will be open on Friday from 4–7 p.m., on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The gift shop will be open all weekend.
The Bluegrass Festival is the last event of the year, and the museum closes on Monday, Sept. 9.
Information about the museum can be found at www.pioneervillagemuseum.org. The museum is located between Cameron and Barron at 1866 13–1/2 - 14th Ave. (CTH W).
JEM grants promote tourism
In 2018, the tourism economy in Wisconsin totaled $21.6 billion, supporting 199,073 jobs. Visitors generated $1.6 billion in state and local revenue. Business sales in Barron County totaled $158.2 million in 2018, supporting 1,474 jobs and $11.5 million in state and local taxes.
In fiscal year 2019, the department funded 62 JEM projects, awarding a total of more than $1.1 million. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects will exceed $61 million. JEM grant funds are available to nonprofit organizations for the promotion of Wisconsin tourism events and destinations. The state can fund up to 75 percent of a project’s first-year advertising and marketing costs and provide support for second- and third-year projects with decreasing amounts for funding until projects become self-sustaining. For information on the JEM program and application materials, visit http://industry.travelwisconsin.com.