Have you been wondering, “What is with all this excitement about the ukulele?” Come down to Old Town on Mother’s Day weekend and find out!
Mighty Uke Day is the Midwest’s largest ukulele festival; it brings together live shows, workshops, open mic performances, children’s activities, strum-alongs, jams, and much more in a three-day celebration of the “people’s instrument,” Friday through Sunday, May 12 – 14.
Founded in 2011 by Michigan Ukulele Ambassador Ben Hassenger, Mighty Uke Day brings a few hundred people to Old Town from around the Midwest and Canada.
Mighty Uke Day events are located in various spots around Old Town including Sir Pizza, Elderly Instruments, Urban Beat Event Center, Friends Meeting House, Mother & Earth Baby Boutique, MICA Gallery, Absolute Gallery, and the Old Town General Store. A shuttle bus, generously provided by Dean Transportation, runs a loop throughout the area during the day Saturday. Evening concerts are held downtown at LCC’s Dart Auditorium and are sponsored by WLNZ.
Many of the day’s functions are free of charge. Enjoy the aloha spirit of the ukulele at children’s activities, open mic, the featured performer stage, groups strums, and beginning workshops. Tickets for the paid concerts and workshops are sold ala carte and are available in advance online via mightyukeday.com/schedule-tickets/ and at the doors during the festival.
The Dart Auditorium evening concerts at Mighty Uke Day 7 are designed to be enjoyed by the ukulele aficionado and non-uker alike. Friday night, “The Women of the Great Uke State” are showcased, headlined by Michigan native Rachael Davis and supported by Olivia Millerschin, Julianna Wilson and Marlowe. Saturday features California artists Heidi Swedberg and Daniel Ward, with openers Gerald Ross, Frank Youngman, Sigh School of Music, and The Ukulele Kings. On Sunday, Heidi and Daniel will perform in an intimate acoustic show at the MICA Gallery for Mother’s Day.
In its seventh year, Mighty Uke Day has helped fund Music is the Foundation 5021 (c)(3) programs in local classrooms and communities. Your attendance and support helps continue and expand these programs.
by Anne Harrington, OTCA org committee