Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Wheatland
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Kristi Kates - September 7th, 2009
Wheatland a 2009 preview

By Kristi Kates 9/7/09

Wheatland associate Pamela Peach Burke calls the Wheatland Music Festival “the last hurrah of the warm summer months” - perhaps an understated description of the much-touted event that draws around 12,000 people each year.
With this year’s event happening September 11-13, Wheatland, as it’s commonly shortened to, is now in its 36th incarnation, and rain or shine, it’ll take place once again near Remus, Michigan, at the eastern edge of Mecosta County.

“Wheatland festival goers are a hardy bunch,” Burke says, “mud, frost, rain, or heat does not keep them from attending the stage concerts or taking part in the dances, jam sessions, workshops, or more. They are also folks who value homegrown music and arts that represent various eras and ethnicities and tend not to be ‘staged’ or overly produced like some commercial music. Nearing the fourth decade of Wheatland, many festival goers arrive in friend or family clans of multiple generations.”
The very first Wheatland, Burke explains, was a fundraiser for the local Mt. Pleasant food co-op way back in 1974.
“If funds were raised that year beyond the costs, I don’t remember,” Burke chuckles.
“Shortly after, the small group of volunteers that held the first festival believed that the music presented had value, and chose to incorporate with a mission statement to preserve and present traditional music and arts,” she continues, “now that small group has grown to more than one thousand volunteers from across Michigan and beyond; the organization now serves as a known regional resource center for traditional arts and hosts educational activities all year long.”

This year’s Wheatland will kick off with the first Main Stage act on Friday at 6 p.m.; although the Wheatland team is still hard at work on all the scheduling details, they’re already looking forward to plenty of the acts.
“I expect that Ruthie Foster, a Texas born rocky blues singer, will be a new favorite,” Burke says, “also sure to please are Sam Amidon with Isaac Alderson – a young New Englander singer songwriter with Irish/American influences. And the French Canadian group DeTemps Antan with Éric Beaudry, André Brunet and Pierre-Luc Dupuis playing traditional Quebec music will be a draw as well.”
Burke says she’s also looking forward to Drew Nelson, whose songs reference “familiar Michigan places,” as well as returning acts Robin and Linda Williams and Rhythm and shoes.
But even though music is the main focus, Burke emphasizes that there’s a lot more to Wheatland than just that.
“Don’t sit in front of a stage the whole time,” she suggests, “move around - there is so much to see, hear and do. Head over to Third Stage for yoga, dance instruction and dances; there will be cajun dances, old time squares and contra, and more. The Folk Tents and Workshop Lane have full schedules of participatory instrument workshops ranging from ukulele and harmonica to Cajun fiddle and mountain dulcimer, and the instrument makers can be found in the Luthiers Tent. And there’s a gospel sing on Sunday morning.”

In addition to Wheatland’s scheduled events, Burke says there are plenty of “spontaneous spectacles” to witness
as well.
“There are always jam sessions taking place in the pines, campgrounds, food buildings and parking lots - any time of day or night. You can wander from a group of country western crooners to hard driving Irish fiddlers and move on to the Bluegrassers,” she enthuses. There is at least one group of Wheatland regulars who never miss their annual late night walk-a-bout to see the wide array of decorated theme oriented campsites created by festival goers - from the ‘Underwater Experience’ to the tent surrounded by mannequins or pink plastic flamingos.”
“Be sure to set a time to shop and bring a shopping bag, too,” she continues, “this is your chance to buy dozens of gifts to cover all those birthdays and holidays throughout the next year – at Arts and Crafts, Performers Recordings, the Luthiers tent, and at the Marketplace.”
There are plenty of food choices at Wheatland, too.
“The food area includes about a dozen or more vendors,” Burke explains, “and these are not your typical carnival vendors; they are service organizations, nonprofits, school organizations and food co-ops who offer a wide variety of meal choices for festival goers from organic foods to sausage and pancakes on a stick. Some of the vendors have been at Wheatland for years. The best part is that the money these groups earn is re-invested back into their communities.”

Finally, Burke has a little advice for those who may not have been to Wheatland before - or who may not be used to a more rustic outdoor type of music festival. She suggests that - first things first - festival goers should pick up a map at the information booth so that they’ve got a better idea of where they’re going in Wheatland’s 160 acre territory.
“Learn the name of your campground, locate your safety station, and find out where things are while it’s still daylight,” she suggests.
Shuttle buses will be available to transport festival goers into town to purchase food and other supplies, and to prevent those who drink from driving.
Burke also suggests bringing lawn chairs or blankets for the Main Stage and Centennial Stage performances - to remember sunscreen for the daytime -
and to keep your “mittens, scarf, woolen socks, boots, and down vest handy for evening wear.”
But most of all, Burke suggests a friendly attitude and plenty of participation.
“Introduce yourself to the folks camping and dancing next to you; meet musicians too, at workshops and at the Performer Recordings booth. You will all be old friends by next year.”

More information on Wheatland and detailed ticket prices/purchase info can be found at www.wheatlandmusic.org
or by calling 989-967-8561 (telephone only available weekdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Primitive camping will be available on-site.

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