April 9, 2020

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Gates open for festival folkies

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 8/7/2009 (3928 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Zane Hazem and Ariana Ochtrup-Polnau from Minneapolis camped out at the side of Highway 59 beginning at 5 a.m. on Wednesday to wait for Birds Hill Provincial Park to open for the first day of the Winnipeg Folk Festival.

KEN GIGLIOTTI WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Zane Hazem and Ariana Ochtrup-Polnau from Minneapolis camped out at the side of Highway 59 beginning at 5 a.m. on Wednesday to wait for Birds Hill Provincial Park to open for the first day of the Winnipeg Folk Festival.

BIRD'S HILL — A two kilometre long line-up of cars outside the Bird’s Hill Provincial Park at 6:45 a.m. today could only mean one thing — the 36th annual Winnipeg Folk Festival is under way.

The festival starts a day early for the first time, with a main stage performance Wednesday night headlined by Elvis Costello and the Imposters.

But for the hundreds of early birds in line down Highway 59 this morning, some of whom left the city Wednesday morning before 5:00 a.m., it was all about securing the best camping spots.

"I’m hoping to get a camping spot in the trees so we can put our tarp up," said Chris Madden, 27. "You don’t want to have to camp in the field."

In addition to Costello’s Wednesday night performance other mainstage headliners include King Sunny Adé and His African Beats, The Del Mccoury Band, Iron & Wine, Neko Case, Okkervil River, Arlo Guthrie and Loreena McKennitt.

Asked who he was especially looking forward to seeing, Madden said, "To be honest,  I love the camping. It’s so much fun. The atmosphere is great. The second someone pulls out a 10-foot hula hoop...."

Winnipegger Del Barber, 25  was in the early morning line up for the seventh year in a row. This year he brought his friend Nick Wells, 24 from Chicago.

"The extra day is going to be too much," Barber said enthusiastically. "We’re looking forward to seeing Josh Ritter and Okkervil River."

Highway construction on Highway 59 is eliminating one lane for both north and southbound traffic which could slow traffic all weekend.

But the beautiful sunny weather Wednesday morning had spirits high just before the park gates opened at 7 a.m.

And according to Environment Canada’s forecast weather conditions for the weekend could be almost ideal (especially compared to hellish winds and rain that almost blew the festival away last year.)

Forecasts call for sun and a high of 26 degrees today with showers only likely after midnight. Thereis a risk of a thunderstorm late Thursday with a high of 22.

Then there will be nothing but sun Friday, Saturday and Sunday with pleasant highs between 20 and 23.

 

Martin Cash

Martin Cash
Reporter

Martin Cash has been writing a column and business news at the Free Press since 1989. Over those years he’s written through a number of business cycles and the rise and fall (and rise) in fortunes of many local businesses.

Read full biography

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