By Tanner Kent
The Free Press
— Jamaican band hears History Fest’s call
Christy Steinbach sent out the call:
Bands wanted to headline a benefit concert to help raise money for History Fest, the annual festival of experiential learning and historical activities for schoolchildren at Jack McGowan’s farm.
The first band to respond? Dubtonic Kru, an award-winning reggae band from Jamaica.
“They’re not even from our country,” said Steinbach, who operates a promotional company, Full Moon Productions, in Mankato. “But they wanted to help.”
Dubtonic, winners of the 2011 Global Battle of the Bands contest in Malaysia, played the Red Sky Lounge in Mankato in August. Steinbach said the show was a success but said she was still surprised that Dubtonic responded so quickly. The band wrapped up a grueling, 40-date, two-month tour only last week.
“They are coming all the way back to Mankato for this one show,” Steinbach said.
The History Fest fundraiser will be held noon to 6 p.m. at Red Sky Lounge in Mankato. Arts and crafts vendors will be on-hand as well as children’s activities and games. Kind Country will play music for the first half of the event and Dubtonic will play for the second half.
There is no cost to attend the event but free-will donations will be collected at the door. The event is also sponsored by KMSU and Red Sky Lounge.
Inaugural Bier on Belgrade event taps Saturday
North Mankato’s inaugural Oktoberfest-themed event begins Saturday.
Mayor Mark Dehen will ceremonially tap the first keg for Bier on Belgrade at noon. The event continues until 8 p.m. in the 200 block of Belgrade Avenue in North Mankato and is sponsored by the Business on Belgrade Association.
Cover charge is $15 and includes 10 samples of craft beer, collector stein, one free stein of beer and discounts on drinks in our local businesses. One-third of the cover charge will be donated to the local Backpack Food Program and the Echo Food Shelf.
Live music includes Kris and the Riverbend Dutchmen, The Montgomery Connection, and Billy and the Bangers.
In July, Kris and the Riverbend Dutchmen released its first album, “Smile.” The 19-track collection includes two concertina duets featuring band leader Kris Keltgen and well-known concertina artist Karl Hartwich. The album also includes the first-ever release of Keltgen’s “Jeffers Polka,” written in 2010.
Bier on Belgrade visitors must be 21 years or older, and no glass containers or coolers are allowed.
The Business on Belgrade Association promotes the patronage and economic development of North Mankato’s downtown thoroughfare. The organization also coordinates the annual Blues on Belgrade music festival.