Part of the reason why Hiawatha takes place place at Tourist Park is its excellent camping facilities and environment. The tall pine trees give shade for hundreds of campers, as well as the main stage audience. A dam break in 2003 drained the dead river reservoir is back and gives attendees a place to cool off during the hot days.
The camping areas are spread out around the site. Area A is informally known as the “loud” camping area since loud music and activities are allowed late into the evening. Area B is the quiet family camping site where no loud music and activities are allowed after 10PM. Area C, along the lake, is only a tent camping area with no electricity, is also a quiet out-of-the-way place. Areas D and E, north and east of the former baseball field, are far from most of the sites. Area D is the traditional favorite site for those who want to plays drums into the evening. Area F is reserved for performers and key volunteers.
Many families and groups have camped at the same sites for dozens of years. Some of these “camps” have their own names and traditions. One tradition is the “Tie One On Party,” where attendees show up wearing ties, enjoy a drink and make donations to the children’s area.
Another tradition is the lottery for campsites for the Thursday night before the festival. This lottery is held weeks in advance and only a limited number of people can camp in the grounds that night. The rest begin lining up around the Jacobetti Center on Thursday evening awaiting the general opening of the grounds at noon on Friday.
LeVent Du Nord, 2011 – (Quebecois, Canadian traditional) title unknown
Lena Sutter and Patty Lins discuss their favorite family traditions at Hiawatha
Lumber Jaaki, 2012 – (Finnish American/Les Ross, Sr.) title unknown
Pert Near Sandstone, 2012 – (Old Time) Snake Charmer