Highway 61 Folks Fest organizers refuse to let weather rain on their paradeWhen Rob Mohelski of Rob’s Mahtowa Tavern came in to work around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, he could hardly believe his eyes. The entire parking lot next to the tavern and behind the adjoining TJ’s Country Store had essentially turned into a lake.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
When Rob Mohelski of Rob’s Mahtowa Tavern came in to work around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, he could hardly believe his eyes. The entire parking lot next to the tavern and behind the adjoining TJ’s Country Store had essentially turned into a lake.
“The river was flowing on both sides of the bar, and the water was up to the floor of the bandstand,” he said.
The bandstand of which he spoke is destined to be center stage for this weekend’s lineup of entertainment for the annual Highway 61 Folks Fest celebration. With bands already booked and a slate of entrants for the Singer/Songwriter Contest, organizers weren’t at all eager to have to call it off.
Somehow, things had literally done an about-face by Wednesday night, however.
“The water has receded very well on its own,” said Mohelski, “and I think we’re going to be OK. I still have a couple of holes to fill and there’s one puddle in the parking lot, but other than that it’s gone down really well.”
The annual get-together is one that garners considerable attention from music-lovers throughout the area and an appreciable economic boost to the small community of Mahtowa.
This year’s lineup of bands includes “Doug Soukkala and Country Junction,” slated to play from 5-9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, at TJ’s, followed by “Boys ’n Barrels” from 9 p.m. to1 a.m. at Rob’s. “Jimmi and The Band of Souls” will play from 3:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at Rob’s, followed by “Milkbone” from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., also at Rob’s.
This year’s entries in the Singer/Songwriter Contest will take the stage at Rob’s from 1-3 p.m., with some eight songwriters set to perform their original music.
Also planned for the weekend is a pancake breakfast and gospel music by the Mahtowa Covenant Church from 9-11 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 7, at Rob’s and a farm market at TJ’s from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Mohelski said there is no cover charge for the entertainment, though they ask that no coolers or pets be brought in. There will be some bleacher seating available, but lawn chairs are suggested. Free primitive camping is available, though Mohelski cautioned that since the ground is still somewhat soggy, he’d advise against bringing in heavy vehicles or campers.
Food and refreshments will be available at the local establishments all weekend.
Mohelski said with a couple more days of sunshine and a little cooperation from the weatherman, “We should be able to put on a really good party!”