Winona's Mid West Music Fest

We’ve been fortunate to enjoy a wonderful spring this year. Just judging from the sun in the sky and buds on the trees, it feels more like late May than mid-April. I’ll take it. The warmer weather marks the beginning of the summer music season as well—if you are looking for an early start, check out the Mid West Music Fest (MWMF) in Winona.

It’s called “Winona’s homegrown” music festival, and it’s billed as the only event of its kind in the area. From reading the list of local talent who will be involved, it’s certainly true. The event first got its start only in 2010, when according to the event’s website, an AmeriCorp volunteer wanted to build on Winona’s already budding arts scene, which includes the Minnesota Beethoven Festival, the Great River Shakespeare Festival, and the Frozen River Film Festival, among others. His idea was to create a summer music festival to raise funds for local nonprofit arts organizations located in this quaint college town along the bluffs above the Mississippi River. The inaugural event, which took place in July, was a huge success, but the following year the event was moved from July to April to allow college students to take part while school was in session, as well as to correspond with Winona’s Earth Day Celebration.

The music starts today. Enjoy more than 120 acts on 17 different stages, including Greg Brown, Tapes ‘n Tapes, The 4onthefloor, and Ben Weaver. Proceeds from this year’s MWMF go to organizations aiding children and the arts, including Coats for Character, Kids ID, Scholarships for College, Vega Productions “Instruments in the Cloud,” and the Winona Symphony Orchestra.

Tickets are $20 for a day pass ($10 a day for a specific venue) or $35 for a three-day pass. Tickets for the Greg Brown show are sold separately for $26.