Rockin’ The Park Music Festival Arrives This Week
Along about the mid 70’s or so my sister had told me about a music festival she had gone to up in Remus. She recommended it highly so the following year LSC Lil and I along with some folks we knew drove down from Manistee where we were living at the time.
It was that perfect combination of camping mixed with music, people being downright friendly and a little laid back partying going on. The music trickled beyond the portable stage brought in for the event and could be heard at many of the campsites.
What was there not to like?
We continued to attend for the next 25-30 years or so.
There weren’t a ton of people at those early Wheatland days. If you’re acquainted with the terrain we camped around where the kids hill now exists, At the time it was on the outside fringe of campers. Of course those familiar know that the festival draws some 15,000 each year with tents, fifth wheels, campers, trailers and motorhomes in every available space.
And there’s a heckuva lot of available space.
This weeked White Cloud County Park will be the site of the inaugural Rockin’ The Park Music Festival, and while Wheatlandesque numbers will not be pulling into the Cloud organizers are hoping for good turnout from folks who like to gather together for some good times and music played under an open sky.
Daily entrance fees to the park have been waived for the event with camping available at the regular rate.
Wednesday there’s a Amateur BBQ contest hosted by Smokin’ Goodtime BBQ. It’s free to enter and open to all who view themselves as a bit of an epicurean artiste. The action begins at 11am with registration and at noon it’s “Gentlemen and Ladies...Start Your Meat!”
I’ve covered these gigs before and part of the fun is in talking with competitors about their methods equipment, etc. Mark Westcott of SGTBBQ will be directing the action and possesses a passion for outdoor cookery. Look up Mark while you’re there wandering about He likes to talk ‘Qing, knows his stuff and has always been a great source of info.
Starting Wednesday one can channel the Pinball Wizard inside each of us and ‘play the silver ball’.
Admittedly a long time pinball aficionado, my era was in the pre-hightech games. Back when you got five balls for a dime, three games for a quarter and learned to nurse the hand- to-machine activity down to a science to prevent that dreaded TILT sign flashing above what was to be an epic score.
These beauties from Special When Lit are vintage-inspired so bring a roll or two of quarters and give it a go.
Of course, if you’re maybe thinking, “They ain’t seen nothin like me, in any amusement hall” and want to pit your pinball prowess against others you can enter the tournament held Thursday from 4-8pm. There’s also a separate tourney for kids 11 and under.
And if you see an older guy trying to give a little soft side slamming action to a machine that’s been yielding points rather stingily?
Stop and say Hi.
From 7-10pm Thursday there will be an acoustic jam session as the first of the three days of music gets off to a start with some local talent taking to the stage to showcase their stuff. It’s called Open Mike so grab your guitar, banjo, uke, harmonica, zither, accordion, mandolin, clarinet, canjo or maybe just your shining voice and get ready to share your music with others
Friday there are guided kayak trips down the White River starting a 10am and noon and I must say this is a truly wonderful paddle. If you’ve never cruised down the White this presents a great opportunity to be dazzled by the places this scenic stream takes you through. Load up your ‘yak and get ready to paddle.
Pinball open play and tourney qualifying continues, kids activities will be happening from 10am-2pm and at 4pm the music kicks off with Rob Manchester. An hour late Kevin Conley takes the stage followed by Jill Lamphere at 6pm then from 7-9 kick it out with some classic rock and roll from Stealing Mary.
Saturday the park is once again abuzz with activities for kids, kayaking runs and pinball with music beginning at high noon.
But before all that? Grab a little al fresco pancake breakfast from 8-10am as TGFF (Tracy’s Gang From Fremont) will be putting out the vittles as part of their ongoing efforts to support the cause of combatting MS. Good cause, good eats.
The event culminates with a 7-10pm performance by the Braunschweiger Blues Band.
If you’ve not yet experienced Braunschweigermania in action make it a point to see this eclectic set of characters who gather on stage to have a good time and share it with their audience
Warning: This is all interactive so be ready to kick up those heels with a little dance action.
Whether you grab a couple of adult beverages at the beer tent and enjoy the music played from the stage or wander about and listen to (or participate in) a few campfire jams, Rockin’ In The Park offers up the chance to enjoy listening to live music in the best of all possible ways.
More information can be had by visiting:
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