The Hiawatha Festival is the only event of its size and scope in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Without Hiawatha, local performers and fans would have to travel between four and six hours to the nearest comparable festivals.
The Festival is held the next-to-last FULL weekend in July, at the Marquette, Michigan, at Tourist Park.
Each year's event features traditional-music styles that include Bluegrass, Old-Timey, Cajun, Celtic, acoustic Blues, and Folk - including singer/songwriters. It also features traditional dance styles. Mainstage acts include nationally known performers as well as regional and local favorites. The Festival opens its gates at 1pm on Friday. Events begin with the Opening Ceremony we call Thunderation! It's followed by the Friday night Get Acquainted Dance at Second Stage. These are the only events on Friday. Food Concessions open when the gates open on Friday. Children ages 0-8, Tweens ages 9-12, and Teens ages 13-17 activities and performances run all day on Saturday and Sunday with a special Teen only Dance Saturday night at Second Stage. Various musician-led Workshops, open jams, dance sessions run throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday. The heart-warming and time-honored Children's Parade takes place late Sunday afternoon. Artists in the Round, a juried traditional arts show, is on Saturday and Sunday, and our Young Artists Corner on Saturday afternoon.
Over the years, a Lottery has been held to allow a limited number of people to enter the campground on Thursday, a day earlier than general entry. As the Festival has grown, the number of people in the park on Thursday has grown too. Last year, many important Thursday tasks being undertaken by Festival set-up volunteers were impeded by the amount of people moving around the park; some of these impediments even represented safety hazards. The Board of Directors had to make a hard decision, and with safety of everyone utmost in mind, has eliminated The Lottery. The official policy is now essential personnel only for Thursday entry.
Please visit our Festival Volunteer page to sign up! YOU CAN ATTEND OUR FESTIVAL FOR FREE! It takes about 500 volunteers to run a successful Festival! We always especially need volunteers for Security shifts, Traffic and on Sunday. You can even work on Monday clean up detail as a volunteer! Receive a Festival T-shirt and your entire advanced ticket price refund! Sign up early! Bring a friend!