Whoop and Hollar 2019 poster

As the Whoop & Hollar Folk Festival evolves and matures, be ready to enjoy more than great music: the two-day schedule is planned to engage your senses beyond the 25 music acts and 60 musicians.

Workshops and activities

This year Portage’s award-winning folk festival introduces workshops and activities under the Silver Maple Big Top that will engage all ages into nature, art, music and community. The festival gets underway at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24 and noon on Sunday, August 25 at Island Park’s southeast stage.

Circle K is sponsoring a free lunch of hot dogs, chips and drink between noon and 2 p.m. on both days. Popular caterers Cravings will be offering their best food along with Sawmill Catering who has expanded its menu to fit the 22 hours of the festival.

“We are excited to offer new workshops for families,” says Festival Coordinator Linda Omichinski.

“Richard Osen will be making musical instruments from discarded items, and Candis Militere will be making wind chimes. Judy and Ruby, Winnipeg Children’s musical entertainers will engage kids between mainstage acts, while Chris Kitchen will wow everyone with his magic.

“You’re all invited to move your body in a different way as Vicki and Bridget of Northern Lights Belly Dance Troupe will show you how. You’ll also find hula hoops to try swinging your hips to the music of Raine Hamilton and Zrada.”

This year, the Mainstage goes quiet between 5:45 – 7 p.m., although the Red Barn will continue to be the stage for acoustic jamming and Ron Nordstrom will host the open mic event. During this interlude, Jerry Maksymyk’s Prairie Strummers will lead a workshop on the ukulele. You are invited to bring your ukulele and join in.

Also, new this year is the Peace Pillar at Creative Corner where you can write or draw your creative mark for future folkies to see. The Cottonwood Trail will be a bustle of activity where a scavenger hunt for hidden marked stones will be ongoing. In addition, the Flaming Trolleys, a colourful marching band, will invite festival-goers to join them on a march through the winding Cottonwood Trail at various times during the day.

“We have also planned for a time-out from festival activities,” Omichinski said. “The Cottonwood Trail and Pollinator Garden will have quiet times for your personal meditation and centering. Hydrotherapy in Pinewood Park provided by Heartland Family Wellness can be another route to centering. Kevin Harmer will offer a centering activity while listening to a variety of performers in the Song Circle, a musician workshop.”

Once again, the Artisan Alley handmade village is back with both your favourite returning vendors and new vendors, who will be offering anything from soaps and beauty products to clothing and giftware.

Early bird entrance tickets are still available at Hills Drugstore and online at whoopandhollar.com. To avoid parking at the festival site, take advantage of the free shuttle service every two hours from Herman Prior Centre beginning at 11 a.m. As the need arises we will increase the shuttle to hourly trips, back and forth.