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Frozen Fingers Festival returns for 13th year

Banjos, bluegrass and much more

Jerry Schlag & Friends play their accordions and guitar at the 2019 Frozen Fingers Festival.

The Frozen Fingers Festival will be returning to the Sleep Inn for its 13th year.

Musicians will gather on Friday starting at 5 p.m. and Saturday starting at 11 a.m. to share their love for old-time and bluegrass music, including Walt Storey, Little Bluestems and The Missing Lynx. There will be a silent auction and door prizes on Saturday. Tickets are $20 per person for one day, or $35 for both days.

Old-time and bluegrass music are not as popular as they were before the radio was invented. People would gather and listen to their neighbors play their instruments in the square or around a campfire. Now most people tend to just listen to music over the radio, CDs or on their smartphones. Hundreds or thousands of people attend concerts in big cities for famous bands that play contemporary country or alternative rock, but it’s not often anymore that bluegrass is played to such a large crowd.

The goal of Frozen Fingers is to keep the old-time and bluegrass genres alive in the 21st century. Lois Zahn said she invites groups that play those types of music to attend the festival every year. On the fourth Saturday from October to May, bluegrass players gather and play for nursing home residents. Every second Saturday of the month year round, Zahn said she invites people to “come jam at Trinity Homes.”

Because the Frozen Fingers organization is a non-profit, the money they raise at the festival and other events goes to music camp scholarships for people that want to play an instrument, the Minot Area Homeless Coalition or funeral costs for some who do not have the funds to give their loved ones a proper service, if necessary.

In April 2019, Frozen Fingers provided six scholarships at $250 each, for a total of $1,500. In addition, they also sponsor the International Music Camp Fiddler’s Contest every year for $150. People of all ages and nationalities of 84 countries practice and play at IMC, the skill level ranging from beginner to advanced study.

Music is an important part of several different cultures in many different countries. The power of music is regarded highly worldwide, and continuing to play the older genres is a wonderful way to preserve culture.

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