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Great River Folk Festival

40th Annual  ::  August 28 – 30, 2015  
Riverside Park  ::  La Crosse, Wisconsin

2014 Craft Awards

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Mary Denzer – Best of Show

Houston, MN
Mary has been making functional, wheel-thrown and hand built stoneware and porcelain pottery for more than 35 years. Her pottery - mugs, tumblers, soup bowls, casseroles, colanders, pie plates, pitchers, pasta bowls, teapots - are beautiful and comfortable for everyday use. Her designs are inspired from the woods in which Seven Bridges Pottery is located, in a southeastern Minnesota valley with a spring fed creek.

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Evergreen Amundson – Outstanding Crafter

Washburn, WI
Mixed media journals, needle felted animals, and hand woven, knit crochet pieces. Unique handbags from high end fabrics and embellishments. She has also published 3 books.

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Linda Ravenwind – Crafters’ Choice (split)

New Albin, IA
As an experienced potter, weaver, spinner, felter, and painter, Linda combines different media to produce works inspired from fantasy and nature. Her most recent creations feature baby fairies cradled in nests, raku and stoneware fairy houses, and fairy dust jewelry. Linda teaches workshops in many different media.

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Diane Armini – Crafters’ Choice (split)

LaCrosse Wi,
Paintings, collages, mixed media collections that are multi-dimensional.

Songwriting and Performance Contest

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  • 1st Place – Derek Olsen, New Lisbon, WI

    Includes recording time at Sound Strations of La Crosse
    soundStrations (2K)
  • 2nd Place – Jeff Cozy, La Crosse, WI

  • 3rd Place – Jim Gray, Elmhurst, IL

2014 Raffle Winners

Prize and Sponsor Winner
blue-heron-logo-75 (3K)Specialized brand Hardrock 26 Bike from Blue Heron Bicycle Works Onalaska Carol Hoesley
Honda Motorwerks (3K)Three weeks driving a Civic CNG (Compressed Natural Gas vehicle) from International Motorwërks Mary Hardie
Tom Orrico (2K)Portrait or Caricature Sketch for up to 4 people by Tommy Orrico Pat Gund
GRFF_2014_75 (4K)All events passes for four to the 2015 Great River Folk Fest Greg Meeuwsen
HectorDelCurtoTangoQuintet (4K)Two tickets to the Hector Del Curto Tango Quintet, Jan 28 at St. Mary’s Page Theater in Winona Kim Hammer
HectorDelCurtoTangoQuintet (4K)Two tickets to the Hector Del Curto Tango Quintet, Jan 28 at St. Mary’s Page Theater in Winona Mark Poulterer
OrganicValley (4K)Two months of Organic Valley products Karen Acker
PumpHouse_SHEL (4K)Two tickets to see SHEL in concert at the Pump House August 29 Ron & Donna Johnson
PumpHouse_Mary Mack (3K)Two tickets to comedian Mary Mack at the Pump House January 9 Melissa Tokarski
BigRiver (3K)A one year subscription to Big River Magazine Rosanne Morici
BigRiver (3K)A one year subscription to Big River Magazine Jeff Bye
PumpHouse_FilmSociety (2K)Two tickets to one Pump House Film Society event including a thoughtful film, discussion and a light meal Janet Alcamo

Music Acts Set for 2014

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Sally Rogers—long-time fest favorite—returns to the Festival after a long absence (photo left). She’l be joined on Sunday with long-time friend and collaborator Claudia Schmidt.

Newcomers The Barefoot Movement (below) will make their Fest debut in 2014.

Other confirmed acts include Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott, Grace and Pierce Pettis, EverGreen Grass Band, Patchouli, Colin O’Brien, and more. See a full listing of performers on the Performers page.

Barefoot Movement

Great River Folk Fest Is Moving to the River!

For the first time in its 39 year run, the Great River Folk Festival will be held on the banks of the great river it is named for. The 2014 festival will be held on the north end of Riverside Park in downtown La Crosse, on the banks of the Mississippi. The move will place the fest in the heart of La Crosse in the park that remains the focal point of the downtown area.

The park will provide beautiful views of the Mississippi and the Festival will provide shade and rain protection for an entirely outdoor event, rain or shine. All activities will be held at one location including the evening concerts, daytime concerts and workshops, children’s activities, traditional art and crafts, and specialty foods. The festival steering committee sees this move as an exciting way to build on its 38 years celebrating music, art, and people.

The City of La Crosse encouraged the festival to make the move to Riverside Park. In particular, the Parks Department feels that the festival, with its unique emphasis on family and community, is exactly the type of event the city wants to see on its riverfront. In addition, the city maintained that our fest deserves to be in a more prominent place within the city: a place where the fest can be seen from the river and from downtown, a place that already has foot traffic, a place where the festival can thrive for years to come. The steering committee was persuaded.

Riverside Park
A view down the Mississippi from Riverside Park, the new home of the Great River Folk Festival.

Still time to get on board as a volunteer

If you are interested in volunteering for the 2014 fest, go to the You Can Help page and submit a volunteer form. The sooner the better! Even in this last week, we can likely find a place for you to help.

Everything will be new on the Riverside as we plan from scratch. The steering committee is enthusiastically planning for a great event, but the move is going to require more people and more energy. This is a great time to get on board an exciting new chapter of the Great River Folk Festival. We encourage you to take a moment to fill out our volunteer form (even if you filled one out last year). Let us know if we can count on you to volunteer during the festival weekend and if you are willing to get involved with the organizing, planning, and publicity for 2015.

It’s going to require funds.

Any big change in a successful festival can be a risky proposition, and this move is not an exception. The fest will incur costs at the new site that it didn't have to deal with at the old site. Plus, moving to the river compels us to find performers that are suited to this new, majestic location. Sometimes that takes money, too.

We are working with our fiscal agent, Great River Festival of the Arts, and we are reaching out to our long-time sponsors to make sure we have their continued support. But we will also depend on our loyal fest attendees to step up with some extra help. Now is a good time to make a donation to the Great River Folk Festival: all donations go directly into the cost of putting on the festival: paying for musicians and sound engineers or tents or fences or port-a-johns.

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Storyteller Michael Scott uses some help to tell this particular tale. Children's area, 2013.
Donate to the Folk Fest

Your donations help us hire top-notch national and regional performers and help keep this all-volunteer festival moving forward!

Festival Sponsors

Peoples Coop Logo(19K) Viterbo-vert_color_150 (6K) PearlStreet_150 (14K) Rick-Thompson-Drywall
People’s Food Co-op
La Crosse, WI
Rochester, MN
Viterbo University
La Crosse, WI
Pearl Street Brewery La Crosse, WI Rick Thompson Drywall
La Crosse, WI

Major Sponsors

Mayo Health System
Wiscomsin Public Radio Hanson and Associates blue heron Bike Shop
Win Craft Channel 8 LaCrosse Radio Group Wettstein Brothers Electric
  Honda motorwerks ufah (3K) grfa (5K)