The weather is getting good. Almost too good to believe after that long winter. With this beautiful change of seasons we’re looking at a lot of music festivals, so I would like to take this chance to inform you of one festival in particular that brings you down to the beautiful Mississippi River Valley.

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The Midwest Music Fest is in its 5th year down in Winona starting April, 24th. TONS of local acts are going to be playing at thirteen stages across town for this all-ages, multi-day experience. Favorites such as Caroline Smith, Lizzo, Charlie Parr, 4onthefloor, The Cactus Blossoms and Dosh are only a handful of the well known artists contributing to the lineup. Running the gamut from folk and roots to electronic, this year’s celebration can expect to see a big draw from Twin Cities travelers. See the full schedule here.

Having been to the festival during my last years of college, it opened my eyes to the talent that we’ve grown locally. Since graduating and leaving Winona, the fest has expanded significantly enough to include a pre-festival celebration at both Ed’s No Name Bar and Broken World Records on April 23rd.

While the music is the biggest draw to the festival itself, there will also be screenings of two films: Death to Prom  and Every Everything: the Music, Life and Times of Grant Hart. Both films are brought to MWMF by Sound Unseen, a films on music festival that began in Minneapolis in 1999. Death to Prom is described as a gay teen comedy that explores the struggles of love triangles and begin gay in high school, while Every Everything is an unfiltered and unrestrained examination of the Midwest Punk band Husker Du’s frontman.

Most notably, MWMF happens to bring strong emphasis to the fact that this is a community centric event. Since its initiation, the event has been raising funds for Winona area non-profits. Having been a part of the intimate community in Winona, I can tell you that the town has a wonderful variety of non-profit organizations that contribute to the attitude of giving that so many students and residents eagerly adopt. This year, the proceeds will be donated to the Minnesota Marine Art Museum’s Art-Venture Program for kids ages six and older.

If you haven’t yet purchased tickets and a hotel reservation, make sure you do it fast! The timeframe for special rates has come and gone, but that’s no reason to skip the fest altogether! The combination of the artists, community and films ensure plenty of reasons to make the trek.

Be on the lookout for next week’s Curious North Podcast where we will have a chat with We Are the Willows about what they’re bringing to MWMF this year.