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See ya next year Sonshine: 33rd annual festival packs up and disappears for another year

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See ya next year Sonshine: 33rd annual festival packs up and disappears for another year
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

WILLMAR — A rainy start to the day on Saturday was not enough to dampen Sonshine Festival goers’ spirits as the festival powered through the final day with strong line ups on every stage.


The music on the Main Stage on Saturday began with the winner of the Sonshine Music Tournament, Good Morning Bedlam. The band from Rochester Minnesota was selected by judges as the winner from the debut stage and won the opportunity to perform on the Main Stage.

The rest of the afternoon was full of bands on the Indoor Stage, Fringe Stage and Main Stage with bands like My Epic, Kari Jobe, Thousand Foot Krutch and Switchfoot all drawing large crowds.

Except for the rain on Saturday morning that soaked some campers who didn’t put up rain flies on their tents the weather did not disrupt the festival at all this year which amazed many Sonshiners.

“Usually there is some sort of severe weather that moves through here during the festival whether it’s extreme heat, tornadoes or severe thunderstorms,” said Lucas Peterson, a four-year Sonshiner, on Saturday. “It was nice to not deal with any of that this year and to just enjoy the music and people without worrying about the weather.”

Festival coordinator Bob Poe was also extremely happy about this year’s conditions and said that this year’s festival went wonderfully.

“When the weather is perfect, like it was this year, the festival tends to follow suit but I think the Emergency Medical Team was a bit disappointed by the lack of work.” said Poe with a smile.

The busiest days were Friday and Saturday due to the number of walk-up ticket buyers who wanted to spend the weekend at Sonshine without taking days off at work, Poe said.

“Clean-up started right after the last concert last night,” Poe said Sunday morning. “The volunteers worked until 5 a.m. and then we sent them home.”

On Sunday businesses packed up their tents, the stage company took down the stages and all the campers were packing up and leaving town.

Volunteers will return today to clean up garbage.

Tickets for next year’s festival are already for sale.

But a few key changes should be noted about Sonshine 2015.

The festival will only be three days rather than three and a half days.

There will be an extra $10 camping charge, however, a weekend pass with a camping pass will still be cheaper than the 2014 equivalent.