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Old Wadena Rendezvous and Chautauqua Celebration
August 10 and 11, 2018

The mission of the Old Wadena Society is to promote community knowledge and understanding of the history, ecology, and natural beauty of the Old Wadena County Park and the Crow Wing River.

The main way we do this is through the annual Rendezvous and in 2018 we are making it a more user friendly, interactive event by adding Chautauqua. The location remains the beautiful bur oak-tree studded bluff along the Crow Wing river at Old Wadena Park. A new permanent pavilion where the Rendezvous and Chautauqua will take place is being constructed by Wadena County with the cooperation of the Old Wadena Society this spring.

You may be asking, “What is a Chautauqua?” Here is one answer: Chautauqua was an adult education movement in the United States, highly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Chautauqua assemblies expanded and spread throughout rural America until the mid-1920s.

Chatauqua will become a part of the Rendezvous this year – and anyone interested in learning more about the folk arts and Old Wadena can participate. Chatauqua will provide a platform on which you can learn and practice a folk art form.
Details about these exciting changes will be forthcoming during the month of May!

Welcome to Old Wadena

The Old Wadena Society sponsors the annual Old Wadena Rendezvous and Folklife Festival every August in the Old Wadena Park as part of its mission to share information about the natural environment and history of this area of north-central Minnesota. The park is situated on the banks of the Crow Wing River, one of the best canoe rivers in Minnesota. The festival showcases two days of great acoustic music, storytelling for all, Anishinaabe dance and drum, Rendezvouers demonstrating 1840s skills and living coniditions, and artists and artisans displaying their work. In addition the Society carries out other educational and interpretive work about the environment and history of the region.

Our location

A map and directions to Old Wadena County Historic Park will help you get to the park. Its location on the Crow Wing River between the Crow Wing's confluence with the Partridge and the Leaf Rivers in north-central Minnesota was an important hunting and trapping area for Indians and later for the French. Today the park is the centerpiece to a string of parks with campsites along the Crow Wing River in Wadena County. The Park is north and west of Staples and north and east of the city of Wadena in Wadena County.