ODPC FUNFEST (World's Largest Hammered Dulcimer Gathering)
Here is festival Information: Because all work is done by volunteers, the festival is able to charge a very reasonable $5 gate fee. All workshops, the program, stage shows, and other festival activities are included for that one price. Camping for 2012 was $17 nightly but the fee for 2013 has NOT been established. The Osceola County Fairgrounds, Evart, Michigan, is the site of this fabulous event.
The O.D.P.C. or "Original Dulcimer Players Club," which puts on the festival, is the largest and oldest hammered dulcimer club in the world. The "original dulcimer" from the club's name means the "hammered dulcimer." The purpose of the O.D.P.C. is the preservation and promotion of the "hammered dulcimer." It's that focus which makes the festival unique.
Please check the Frequently Asked Questions area for answers to all of your questions (i.e. reservations, what instruments are allowed, what you'll need to bring, etc.) One question that is frequently asked is "How can you tell when the festival will be held next year?" It always starts on the Thursday before the third full weekend. That means that it was held July 19-22, 2012, and next year it'll be July 18-21, 2013.
Brief Statement of Festival Rules:
Pets restricted to campsite. No bikes; no alcohol. Sales only by vendors except in the ODPC designated area. (Performers or workshop leaders may sell immediately after classes or performances.) No electrified instruments nor amplifiers in the campground; no band wind instruments; no woodwind instruments; no drums (except bodhran.)
Here is their camping policy for 2012: (But be advised that it could change for 2013.) (The following information is quoted from their website and pertains to the ODPC Funfest) -
2012 Camping Policy for events held on the Osceola 4-H/FFA Fairgrounds:
Campsites are assigned on a first come basis with cash, credit card or
check. As a courtesy, we will accept payment with a credit card by phone but you cannot
call in advance to purchase a campsite. If you want to purchase a campsite with your
credit card you must do it on the day you want to start paying for
that campsite. There will be no pre-payments accepted ahead of time. If you have any questions
or concerns, please call the fair office at 231-734-5481 - leave a message
and someone will return your call as soon as possible.
The city of Evart offers lots of activities for visitors. Even after the festival, there's always entertainment in this lovely community.
Here's a photo of the 2012 "Dulcimers List" members at our annual "Reception."
If you click on the above "seal" you'll be taken to the World Record Academy which has certified that a world record was set for the largest number of hammered dulcimers playing together on stage (197 hammered dulcimers) Friday night 2009 at the ODPC Funfest. Next year we hope to do even better.
You can also see a video on that website of the whole group playing "Red Wing" or Click Here! (Pennye Scheiber did a super job leading the group which plans to have even more dulcimers next year.)
These are the photos from previous years (2004-2012). You'll see a file name for each year. When you have finished with that year hit your "back" button to get back here. You'll probably find that only the last couple of years still have the photos available.
Frequently Asked Questions
You probably have questions, but we think we've covered all of the answers. If not, we have several ways for you to find out everything you need to know.
Why not start by reading the "frequently asked questions" (aka FAQs).
Here's a typical "pre-festival" jam (Sunday, July 13, 2008)
"Bay of Fundy" and "Saute De Lapin" are the two tunes (selected and lead by Cindy Simmons).
You might be interested in what the funfest bunch looked like in 1980 (which we've concluded is probably the date of this photo)!
Click on the above photo to see a much larger image, complete with names.
At the 2004 event there were lots of fun goings on including an amazing performance on the last night in the Swine Barn featuring Gail Schwandt and Linda Foley:
If you have any questions about the festival, feel free to email me.
The first of the festival campers arrive about June 1st (more than a month before the official start. Most of us spent at least a full week on the grounds. The highest number of campers was 748 camping units in 2001.
If you need a place to stay for 2013 and camping isn't your "thing," check with Roger Elkins, the "mayor" of Evart before his retirement. He has a list of the local motels
and hotels. E-mail him for that information. Ask for the "Motel and Hotel
The earlier, the better. Don't delay. You can always cancel.
The workshops are great and the stage shows are
the best, but it's the jammin' at a caliber that can't be described that makes this event
Here is some music recorded live at the 2001 and 2003 Evart Funfests!! Hope you enjoy these tunes.
If all this sounds interesting, and you think you'd like to
attend, or if you are an annual attendee and know you'll want to be part of the fun every year, you may want to
subscribe to an e-mail "list" known as email@example.com. The list will help you stay informed of plans for the festival and will help share
information on the event.
The "list" holds a reception the Wednesday evening before the
festival, which generally draws over 100 members of this group. This will be the FIFTEENTH YEAR we've held these receptions.
Click the "yahoogroups" button to subscribe to
the list "firstname.lastname@example.org".
It's a fun, friendly year-round link to Evart festival folks and information.