Lake Benton music festival celebrates 25th anniversary

Larryolsenband.com photo: Polka enthusiasts dance to the music of the Larry Olsen Band.

LAKE BENTON, Minn. – This year will mark the 25th anniversary of Music Fest on a farm near Lake Benton, Minnesota

The fest is held every Memorial Day weekend with this year's dates being May 23-25, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  

The music fest has a line-up of bands again on two stages starting at 11 a.m. each day. Music Fest ncludes polka, waltz, two-step, country, line dance, '50s and '60s.  

Larry and Brenda Olsen host this three-day event at their farm, which is located a half-mile east of Lake Benton on Highway 14.

Without the help of 30 volunteers over the weekend it would not be possible. It’s a lot of work setting up, tearing down and everything needed to make things go smoothly.  

Two dance floors get built, tables and chairs set up. When buildings are not being danced in, the sheds are full of machinery and a heated shop.      

The Larry Olsen Band has played in many states, and even two cruise ships to Mexico and Alaska. There aren’t many ballrooms in the area that the band has not played in and have seen many of them close over the years.  

Top Notchmen has played the most years with 2019 being 24 years. And of course Larry Olsen Band will have played all 25. The festival has had people from 38 states in one year, with an average every year from 20-25 states plus Canada. The festival averages 50 to 60 campers over the weekend. Area motels are busy over the weekend.

Olsen said they plan to continue music fest as long as the crowds remain strong and they have enough volunteers to help. Over 40 bands have made music here. 

Saturday night there will be a drawing for door prizes.  

Also a parade of musicians will be held at 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Each night after dance is done, area residents are welcome to join the jam session on the stage, so bring instruments and join in.  

For a list of bands playing and times, visit larryolsenband.com.

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