Aug. 28--It's been 18 years since the first Tumbleweed Music Festival sparked musical mayhem at Howard Amon Park in Richland.
And every Labor Day weekend since, festival sponsor Three Rivers Folklife Society has seen the attendance grow and the music broaden.
The festival's theme this year is Kindred Spirits. It kicks off Aug. 29 with a youth concert at 6:30 p.m. featuring the talents of Abbi Hernandez, Roadlines, Shane Santanna from Night Argent, Hey Kudos, Silver Dollar Circus and Badland Nomad.
The music continues until 10:15 p.m., and admission is free.
The festival opens at 11 a.m.Aug. 30 with five outdoor stages set up throughout Howard Amon Park featuring an eclectic mix of music by 120 performers from across the Northwest.
Some of those performers include favorites like Hank Cramer, Hawkeye Herman, Dan Mahar, Humphrey, Hartman & Cameron and Mare Wakefield. There will be dance exhibitions happening throughout both days as well.
Daytime admission to the park is free. The evening concert, which starts at 7 p.m., costs $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at the gate.
Mahar will emcee the evening concert, which features Celtic band Watch the Sky, the husband and wife team of Cat Loves Crow and Hank Cramer.
Terry Andre, a folklife organizer, says the festival draws people from across the Northwest because the entertainment never gets boring.
She points out Jess McKeegan, a lawyer by day, will sing a mix of bawdy pub songs that include sing-alongs.
"McKeegan's songs appeal to my Irish roots -- my uncle owned a pub in a small town in upstate New York," Andre said. "The bawdy songs are only a touch naughty, since this is a family show, but they are humorous."
The music is lively and encourages sing-alongs, she added.
"I don't sing well, but it is fun to participate anyway," Andre said.
Sanger and Diddle and Mare Wakefield are another musical team that Andre guarantees will entertain all ages.
"The customary response to Sanger and Diddle is the audience shouting, 'We love those guys,' " Andre said. "They sing parodies like Puff the Calamari. They are funny guys who are also excellent musicians, and their jokes never get old."
Wakefield is a self-proclaimed nomad who was born with a wanderlust and a talent that earned her a scholarship to Boston'sBerklee College of Music.
Wakefield will perform at 11:45 a.m.Aug. 31 on the North Stage.
The festival also features arts and crafts vendors, and there will be music and craft activities each day for kids as well.
Sunday night entertainment is a contra dance starting at 7 p.m. featuring caller Dan Clark and the music of Phil and Vivian Williams Dance Band. Contra dance is a partnered form of folk dancing led by a caller who walks the dancers through their steps.
Clark also will teach all the dance moves as the evening progresses. No experience is necessary to participate.
Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors; kids 11 and younger are free.
A complete schedule of events is at www.tumbleweedfest.com.
-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; email@example.com; Twitter: @dorioneal
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