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Muskie Days to coincide with school's anniversary

Muskie Days is a weekend of fun, food, parades and tributes to a striped toothy fish. Last year, the three little pigs stole the hearts of many in the childrens' parade. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

Nevis will be hoppin' the weekend of July 20-22 with the 62nd annual celebration of the muskie, a music festival and Nevis School's 100th anniversary.

Nevis Muskie Days promises fun for all ages, with a community fish fry, a 5K run, a kids' fishing tournament, a watermelon seed spitting contest and parades on the agenda.

A notable 30 bands will arrive at the lakeside village Friday and Saturday, July 20-21, adding a melodic mix of reggae, blues, folk, Americana and rock to the ambiance of the summer festival.

Friday events include a youth musical at 4 p.m. An alumni gathering on the football field will be from 4 to 6:30 p.m. with a beer garden. A Lions fish fry is from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday in Muskie Park. A welcome begins for alums at 7 p.m. in Tiger Arena followed by class gatherings.

Friday's music festival performances include Make the Most, a local reggae trio, performing on the Mural Stage on Main from 4 to 5 p.m. Violinist and vocalist Ida Jo, whose voice holds "the color of history," will be on the Muskie Stage from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

The Small Town Fugitives, with influences ranging from blues to rock to folk to alternative, will entertain on the Mural Stage from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Hardwood Groove, drawing inspiration from Minnesota's lakes and trees, will tell stories through tunes at the Muskie from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Kitchi Boogie, whose studio, Flying Dog, in the Chippewa National Forest inspires an eclectic mix of original material, will stroll on the Mural Stage at 7 p.m. Matt Ray and Those Damn Horses, a hard driving string band that serves up a steamy helping of Americana with an intoxicating modern twist, will be on the Muskie Stage at 8 p.m. Chants and Seas perform at the Iron Horse at 9 p.m. and July Fighter - Indie/alternative/ folk /rock - entertains from 9:15 to 11 p.m. on the Mural Stage.

Eldon Hagen who plays anything on strings - from banjo to piano, mandolin to bass - will perform at the Iron Horse from 10:30 to 11:30 p.m. Uncle Shurley, a five-piece funk/rock/reggae/jam band will entertain at the Muskie from 10:30 to close.

Crafts and other items will be for sale on the Heartland Trail from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Saturday, school tours will be offered and a pancake breakfast will be served from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday morning at the Senior Citizens Center. A 5K run/walk and kids race is at 9 a.m. Saturday and a kids fishing tournament for ages 5-12 is from 9 to10 a.m. at the pier. A horseshoe throwing contest also begins at 9 a.m. and the alumni softball tournament is from 9 a.m. to noon.

The Warpossums, whose lyrics focus on the roots of Midwestern strife - homesteading and farming, will play on the Muskie Stage from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Yoga Sol - Yoga to live music, will entertain from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on the Mural Stage. World Tree Tribal Dance, a belly dance collective from Pine River, will take the Muskie Stage at noon.

Caitlin Robertson, whose songs weave Minnesota prairie farm girl and southern swampy mystery into intricate narratives with haunting melodies, will entertain at noon at the muni. Brothers & Friends, Terrapin Station's Brian Skinness and Bruce Babler, will entertain at the Muskie from 12:30 to 2 p.m.

Kids games and activities are from 10 a.m. to noon and a watermelon seed spitting contest for all ages is at noon. A kids casting contest begins at 1 p.m.

The Muskie food stand will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. A buffalo chip throwing contest for all ages is at 1 p.m. and bingo is at Our Lady of the Pines Catholic Church from 1 to 3 p.m. An ice cream eating contest is at 3 p.m.

Acoustic Smoke, a folk, rock and blues duet, will play from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on the Mural Stage. July Fighter performs from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the Muni. Taylor Schroeder, a hometown folk artist inspired by Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens and Neil Young, will be at the Iron Horse from 2 to 3 p.m. The May North, embracing the restless spirit of north country in song, performs from 2:30 to 4 p.m. on the Muskie Stage.

Murzik, playing self-described Dark Folk, steps on the Mural Stage at 3 p.m. At 3:30 p.m. Sneaky Pete Bauer, with a strong blues and old-folk musical background, performs at the Iron Horse and Brady Perl, who delves into "distant yet familiar realms of thought and possibility" will entertain at the Muni, both from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Hailing from the "wilds of Minneapolis," i like you will deliver evocative elements of folk, funk and gypsy Jazz on the Muskie Stage at 4:30 p.m. Charlie Parr, delivering haunting music that sounds "older than dirt and twice as gritty" is at the Muni from 5 to 6 p.m. And The Color Pharmacy, who has entertained audiences across the country, will be on the Mural Stage from 5 to 6 p.m. and after the parades from 6 to 7 p.m.

The kids parade precedes the grand parade at 6 p.m. An alumni basketball game/tournament will be played from 7 to 9 p.m. in Tiger Arena. The alumni volleyball tournament is from 7 to 9 p.m. in the original gym.

The six-member Boys n' the Barrels have been wowing crowds and jazz and bluegrass radio audiences on banjo, bass guitar, fiddle, harmonica, bass and light percussion. They will strike up the band from 7 to 8:45 p.m. at the Muskie.

The Yes, Let's! collective, with Very Small Animal, described as post-colonial/two-step/indie/ folk, together with Kazyak, "with torque and twist," and the Brian Laidlaw Band, a collective of musicians and artists, will perform from 8:15 to 11 p.m. at the Mural Stage. Charlie Parr returns to the Muskie Stage at 9:15 p.m.

The fusing of two renowned Minneapolis talents - Jill Mikelson, who paid award-winning homage to the late Janis Joplin at the Ordway, and the New Grüv, a jazz/soul/rhythm and blues group - close the event.

The beer garden will be open from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday.

Sunday's events include services at the area's churches and a softball/kickball tournament from noon to 5 p.m.