Exciting line-up of performing artists and \headliner highlight third annual WAM Fest


Wabeno, Wis. — The planning committee for Wabeno Art & Music Fest is dotting the “i” in preparation for the festivities on Saturday.

In its third year the full day of activities features live music on two stages, art gallery, “plein air” or outdoor art competition, “arty” activities for kids, mini art and music workshops, unique and traditional-festival food, drinks, art and 50-50 drawings and more.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. in historic downtown Wabeno on Highway 32 in Forest County.

Tim Friesen, member of the WAM Fest planning committee, is happy to announce the line-up of performers.

“This year we decided to add an evening concert on the band shell so we contracted with a five-piece band, Piper Road Spring Band, that will perform beginning at 8:30 p.m.,” he said.

Piper Road Spring Band offers musical diversity from bluegrass through Irish fiddle tunes to American country, big band and classic rock. The band features Randal Harrison on fiddle, Bob Mason on mandolin, Mark Hembree on Bass, Barry Riese on guitar and vocals and Billy Kangaroo on washboard.

Musical performance will be on two stages — the large pavilion stage and the band shell.

On the large pavilion stage, artists perform one hour starting with Anger Brothers (pop/rock) at 10 a.m., Ray Ehlinger (roots country) at 11 a.m., Pat Schwenke at noon, Keith McGillivary (flutist) at 1 p.m., Skip Jones and Randal Harrison at 2 p.m., Scott Wycherley at 3 p.m.

Emerging artists begin a 45-minute performance at 4 p.m. with Ellie Donaldson followed by Metadiscorse at 5 p.m., Aidan Lowery at 6 p.m. and JT Casper Band at 7 p.m.

Performances on the band shell stage vary from 30 minutes to one hour with Maddie Korbas (guitar and ukulele) beginning at 10 a.m., Cheri & Paul (husband-wife duo from Lakewood play 60s and 70s, old and new country, Americana and folk) at 11:45 a.m., Ken Dennison at 12:30 p.m., Heather Styka at 1:45 p.m., Larry Seiler (eclectic) at 3 p.m., Living Room (folk rock trio) at 4:15 p.m., Jeff Brown at 5:30 p.m., Josh & Mary Ellen at 6:15 p.m. and 8 p.m. with Macyn Taylor in between beginning at 6:45 p.m..

The event website has more details on the music genre.

Each stage is within close proximity and easy walking on the Logging Museum grounds.

The children’s arty activities will be held outside in front of the museum under a tent and run from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Activities include sidewalk chalk art, face painting and more. There is no cost to participate.

An additional kid’s activity is called Jr. Rembrandt. Kids are invited to paint on a provided canvas. Kids can get their picture taken with their art in the “artsy” photo booth. Judging this year is optional. Top artist in each age category will receive art supplies and be recognized on the band shell at 2:45 p.m.

Plein Air artists are signing up to participate in a competition and sale of their completed artwork. Artists select a landscape, downtown building or other outdoor location within one mile of the Wabeno Band Shell.

That’s where they paint and visitors can view the action. Painting begins anytime between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. and runs until 2 p.m. Each artist may submit up to three Plein Air paintings.

Framed, ready-to-hang paintings will be sold at the artist’s selected price during the “buy it now” period from 2 to 5 p.m. at WAM Fest Art Gallery. Artists are encouraged to pre-register and details and registration form can be found online at https://wabenoartandmusicfest.org/artists. Registration can also take place at WAM Fest.

New this year are mini art and music workshops for all ages. Fiddlin’ by Randal Harrison begins at noon, painting by Judy Gosz begins at 1 p.m., at 2 p.m. Ken Dennison will demonstrate how to make a cigar box guitar. Magic Flute workshop by Keith McGillivary begins at 3 p.m.. At 6 p.m., a workshop called, “Practical Magic” will be presented by Guizmo. The workshops will be held in the small pavilion next to the museum.

There will be art prize drawings during the event and at 9 p.m. one person will win $1,000 guaranteed prize in a 50/50 drawing. For more information about WAM Fest, check out the website at www.WabenoArtAndMusicFest.org or on Facebook.

WAM Fest is hosted by Friends of Wabeno and sponsored in part by Wisconsin Arts Board, the National Endowment for the Arts, Potawatomi Carter Casino and WXPR.


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