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VIROQUA — The Driftless Music Festival returns for its seventh annual running on Saturday, July 14, offering a diverse array of musical genres during the one-day event, which is free and open to all.

Food vendors start serving at noon and music plays from 1 to 10 p.m. in Eckhart Park adjacent to the Vernon County Courthouse on Decker Street.

The music starts with The Full Monte Project, a DeKalb, Illinois-based quartet specializing in instrumental deep-pocket feels with plenty of groove and soul.

At approximately 2:30 p.m., Miss Tess and the Talkbacks take the stage. From Nashville, Miss Tess and her band regularly steal the show at venues with something a little rowdier and more eclectic. Infused with classic country and honky-tonk, Southern rhythm & blues, New Orleans jazz and swing, and sounds of swamp pop and early rock n’ roll, she is an embodiment of home-grown American music.

After Miss Tess, Black ‘n’ White, a Wisconsin reggae, rock and soul band, takes command of the stage. Collectively this band brings over 250 years of experience to the stage. Backgrounds in jazz, classical, rock, R&B, Latin and reggae gives the band an eclectic seasoned approach. Add some smooth vocals and it all becomes an extraordinary mix.

The featured band this year comes all the way from Louisiana. Cedryl Ballou and the Zydeco Trendsetters. A young but seasoned zydeco musician and singer, Ballou shifts easily from drums to accordion and vocals, fronting the Zydeco Trendsetters and touring extensively with regional zydeco artists.

As the sun sets, a collection of unique performers will bring this year’s festival to a close. Mila is a professional women’s vocal ensemble grounded in the harmonic traditions of Eastern Europe and Russia. The ensemble typically performs a cappella at concerts, vocal and cultural workshops, festivals, schools, and corporate and private events. The group also collaborates with instrumentalists and dancers, for special performances.

Food vendors at this year’s fest will provide a variety of options, including pizza, crepes, Jamaican food, hot dogs and brats, hamburgers, and tacos, as well as strawberry shortcake, smoothies, French pastries and other desserts.


Entertainment and county government reporter

Randy Erickson covers arts and entertainment and county government for the La Crosse Tribune. Contact him at 608-791-8219 or

(1) comment


This is really a worthwhile event! And free!

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