There are a number of winter events in the Minot area that depend on the expected frigid weather to go off successfully, but despite its name, the Frozen Fingers Old Time Music Festival isn't one of them.
This weekend at the Dakota Square Sleep Inn there will be dancing and singing and fiddling a-plenty from Friday night through Sunday evening by some of the best country, gospel and bluegrass groups in North Dakota.
This year marks the 18th annual festival. It begins Friday at 7 p.m. with the "Lil Grand Ole Opry Dance," open to the public with a freewill offering, and featuring local bands, among them Dakota Rose and Highway 43.
"It's all a family-friendly event," said Karen Rath, president of the Frozen Fingers Music Association of Minot. "It's important for the kids to come too."
Both Saturday and Sunday open at 10:30 a.m. with workshops, for mandolin on Saturday and guitar on Sunday. There is open stage time for both days also, when any musician is welcome to play to an audience.
"This is something we don't have restrictions on," Rath said. "Of course we require that they have some talent, but that's never been a problem in the past. Performers are encouraged to let us know they want to join us (by calling her at 838-8484 after 6 p.m.), but we can accept performers the day of the show as well."
Frozen Fingers schedule
10:30 a.m. Mandolin Workshop Ron Hett
10:30 a.m. Accordion Club
11:30 a.m. Open Stage
12:30 p.m. Schmidt Family
1:30 p.m. Highway 43
2:30 p.m. Riverbend Gospel
3:30 p.m. Dakota Rose
4:30 p.m. Tin Star
5:30 p.m. Sloughgrass
6:30 p.m. Greg Hager Band
8-11 p.m. Dance (additional $5)
10:30 a.m. Guitar Workshop
11 a.m. Open Stage
12 p.m. Polka Worship Service
1 p.m. Country Cousins
2 p.m. Sloughgrass
3 p.m. Qualley/Gilbertson Family
4 p.m. Greg Hager Band
5 p.m. Peterson Family
On Sunday a non-denominational Polka Worship Service is offered at noon. A different group takes the stage every hour from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. They are representative of all kinds of essentially American music, from the Schmidt Family with its seven children playing gospel with a bluegrass twist to Tin Star with waltzes, polkas, country and a little bit of rock-and-roll. Highway 43 does songs from the Civil War era to numbers written by its own members. The Greg Hager Band performs 100 percent original music along with short personal stories.
Admission to the festival is $10 for Friday and $15 per person per day Saturday and Sunday, with children under 12 admitted free. Capping Saturday is the dance to the Dakota Rose Band scheduled from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. for an additional $5 charge.