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Ukuleles take over Silver Creek

The Two Harbors Ukulele Group will perform during the Silver Creek International Ukulele Carnival on Aug. 19. (News-Chronicle file photo)

The Two Harbors Ukulele Group will be hosting the annual Silver Creek International Ukulele Carnival Aug. 18-20.

The event was founded seven years ago in a successful attempt to bring ukulele players together for a chance to play with other ukulele lovers and to educate people about the instrument. The event is put on solely by volunteers, most of whom play the instrument themselves. For this reason, admission is free.

The mini theme this year is railroad songs. At least one of the songs performed by the group as a whole will follow this theme, and smaller groups are encouraged to perform at least one piece to do the same. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own music stands and "The Yellow and Blue Books," which have most of the songs that will be played as a group.

This year, they are also focusing more on beginning ukulele players.

"All skill levels are welcome to attend. In fact, we offer free beginner lessons throughout the entire weekend," said Alan Anderson, a member of the Two Harbors Ukulele Group. "We have dedicated and talented performers and leaders who will give workshops throughout the day, teaching and leading the participants. This year we have Pete McCarty, Ukester Brown from Apple Valley, Tony Anthonisen from Minneapolis, Laurie Kallevig, who leads the Survivor Girl Ukulele Band in Kolkata, India, and Sean Carabini, who leads the largest ukulele group in Dublin, Ireland."

There will be a Friday Strum and Sing-along with Pete McCarty, which will start at 4 p.m. in the Silver Creek Music Pavilion. There will be dinner provided by the Two Harbors High School Athletic Department as a way to raise funds for new team jerseys. There will be spaghetti, garlic bread and soda for $7. After dinner, there will be a jam session and dance where people can play, sing, perform at the open mic, dance and socialize with the other musicians.

On Saturday, there will be a number of educational workshops as well as an open mic session, drawings and rehearsal for the Saturday afternoon concert, where there will be over 100 people playing and singing together. Lunch will be provided once again by the THHS Athletic Department, who will be offering pulled pork sandwiches, chips and soda for the same $7 price. At 4:30 p.m., the concert will begin, which is open to the public free of charge. After the concert, there will be a catered dinner, which will now include vegan options. The dinner starts at 6 p.m., but meals must be pre-ordered by Aug. 12 to get one, as there will not be extra meals at the event.

Sunday morning will bring the ukulele breakfast before folks head off to Gooseberry Falls State Park to play in the church service, which will begin at 7 a.m. at The Rustic Inn.

After the church service, there will be social time, a jam session, a hotdog roast, a picnic and a time to say goodbye, which will start at 11 a.m. in the Silver Creek Music Pavilion and Town Hall.

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