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A & E

Gurler House to host annual Folk Music Fest

Dave Balika & Friends entertain the crowd at a previous Gurler Heritage Association Folk Music Fest in DeKalb. This year's event is Saturday.
Dave Balika & Friends entertain the crowd at a previous Gurler Heritage Association Folk Music Fest in DeKalb. This year's event is Saturday.

DeKALB – The sounds of bluegrass, folk, world music and American roots will fill the air at the historic Gurler House from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Free and open to the public, the 18th annual Folk Music Festival will take place on Gurler House’s shaded lawn, at 205 Pine St. in DeKalb. The family-friendly event will feature four performances: Dave Balika & Friends, MaHaRa, the DeKalb High School Jazz Combo and acoustic trio Heath Johnson, Nathan Dettman and Jessie Brown.

In addition to the group of musical performers, there will be a food and drink tent featuring Chicago-style hot dogs from Inboden’s Meat Market, veggie dogs, chips, homemade baked goods and cold drinks. Local artisans will be selling their wares, including fine woodwork and ceramics. Any donations and the sales of food and drink help support the upkeep of the historic Gurler House as a landmark and community space.

Kicking off the festival at 11:30 a.m., Dave Balika & Friends will entertain the audience with their dulcimer-led bluegrass melodies. Fans of the GHA Folk Fest will remember Dave Balika and Friends as a longtime favorite.

Next in line at 1 p.m. is MaHaRa, an alternative music group created by Bob Macko (multi-instrumentalist/composer) and Sven Hansen (Indian table/world percussion). Their music features acoustic guitar, Indian table, Native American flute, world percussion, Australian didgeridoo and more to create healing and transformational music.

At 2:30 p.m., the sounds of a Jazz Combo comprised of DeKalb High School students will fill the air. The group has played as part of various arrangements within the DeKalb High School music program, as well as independent gigs around the area.

Capping off the event at 3:30 p.m. will be Heath Johnson, Nathan Dettman and Jessie Brown. The trio will play selections of acoustic folk, classic pop/rock and original songs with plenty of vocal harmony.

There is free street parking available, as well as free overflow parking at the First Lutheran Church parking lot east of the Gurler House. In the event of rain, the festival will take place at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of DeKalb, 158 N. Fourth St., DeKalb.

For information, visit the Gurler House Facebook page at www.facebook.com/gurlerhouse, or email betsycarnahan@yahoo.com.

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