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Fire on the River plans heating up

posted Mar 4, 2015, 1:11 PM by John Ramthun

As the snow continued to fly March 3, organizers of the Fire on the River festival have issued a reminder: The Fourth of July is only four months away.

This year the Fourth falls on a Saturday and festival planners are reminding area residents to “Celebrate Local.”

The 12-hour celebration is coming together with a music and activity schedule that has something for every member of the family.

The event again will take place in Sauk City in the grassy open space along Water Street with the Wisconsin River as the backdrop to the main stage. The stage will move farther south behind the Riviera Bowl.

Madison-based folk rock artist Beth Kille returns, and the night’s headliner is Milwaukee-based band Genuine Drive, with a repertoire consisting of everything from Bad Company to the Band Perry.

The event’s music coordinator Rauel LaBreche said Genuine Drive performs music that is easy to dance to and will take the event into the late night hours following the fireworks display that starts at dusk.

“Genuine Draft plays everything,” LaBreche said. “Their song list has every kind of music there is.”

Kille will have just played the Summerfest Stage in Milwaukee a week before Fire on the River when she brings an acoustic set of original tunes and familiar folk tunes.

The Georgia Rae Family Band’s sisterly style of bluegrass comes to the Sauk Prairie area for the first time.

Georgia Rae Mussared is an Illinois Grand Champion Fiddler and the current Wisconsin Grand Champion Fiddler. Along with her musical companion Shawn Drake, the two are the current Minnesota and Colorado Twin Fiddle Champions.

Local performers will take the stage in a Stars of Sauk Prairie event that includes singer Lindsey Giese Juarez, who also serves as the executive director of the River Arts on Water art gallery in Prairie du Sac.

The Kells of Columbus, a four-piece Celtic acoustic group, will add an Irish flavor to the mix.

The entertainment kicks off with the Kris Pickar School of Dance.

Fire on the River committee co-chair John Ramthun said there will be some new activities for grown-ups added this year.

“We’re trying to spice up the adult area games,” Ramthun said. “There were a lot of activities for young families and kids, but we thought young adults had little to do.”

Those activities will include a human foosball game.

“People hang on to bars and face the opposing team,” Ramthun said. “The rows can slide left or right.”

An all-day volleyball tournament will culminate in a championship game under the lights after the fireworks, and there will be a bean bag toss.

Bernie and Susan Poff of Bernie’s Signs will host another mural painting project that was a big hit at last year’s event.

Sauk Prairie’s Eagle mascot may be asking for a name this year in the form of a contest in which participants suggest a good name for him.

Ramthun said the committee has coordinated events to begin at noon, following the Witwen Parade that begins at 10 a.m. that same day.

A number of volunteer teams are scheduled to work at the event, but the committee is still accepting teams from area businesses.