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News and quick-hit commentary from around mid-Michigan ... from the Morning Sun.

Monday, September 04, 2006


Dracula will have a little competition this weekend. This is the weekend for the annual Wheatland Music Festival, which draws something like 10,000 (conservative estimate) to a small farm in Mecosta County's Wheatland Township. Ticket sales for the weekend are now closed, but day tickets for Sunday are still available and can be purchased at the gate for $25 for adults and $2 for seniors and kids aged 5-12.

This year, in keeping with an effort to promote the festival as a family event that focuses on keeping alive the traditional arts, and not a weekend-long party, the festival will again feature private security and patrolling sheriff's deputies. According to the latest edition of Quarter Notes, the organization's newsletter, if you plan to drink you're asked to keep your I.D. on you at all times -- you could be carded if you look younger than 21. If you get too rowdy (and aren't stashed away in an appropriately dark and secluded corner of The Lost World campground), you could get the boot from the festival grounds.

A couple other changes this year (mostly cosmetic) -- Expanded T-shirt sale hours (will it end the Sunday morning lines that stretch back along the craft sales tents) and a location swap between the Information Area and the Performers Sales area.

Again, as has been the case for the last few years, the Morning Sun (well, me and a stringer, and the odd photographer) will be on site all weekend, sending stories and photos back to Mt. Pleasant for publication. I'm still hoping to arrange the occasional Internet connection to post from the festival grounds.

Last year, the organization spent $485,438 towards programming designed to promote and preserve the traditional arts. They also tossed a nice-sized chunk of change to a Louisiana effort designed to prevent the loss of the culture and heritage of southern Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Katrina (the festival every year features a Cajun band the plays a dance that is essentially the center of the festival once the main stage shows end for the day).


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