Woodstock tribute, harvest dinner set to go at Backus

Ken Kellar

The Backus Community Center in International Falls has long been a hub of activity in the Borderland, and this weekend is proving to be no exception.

The first show of the 2019-2020 Performing Arts Series takes to the stage tomorrow evening (Sept. 27), and members of the community can turn out to enjoy the annual Harvest Dinner on Sunday.

Backus board member Diane Maxey said that the show that kicks of the performance series is not to be missed.

“This week is ‘Feelin’ Alright!’ a Woodstock tribute show, with Pat Surface and the Boundary Water Boys,” Maxey said.

“It’s the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, this is what the first concert is.”

The show celebrates the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock festival in Bethel, NY, which became a legendary fixture of pop-culture, in additional to a defining moment in the counterculture movement. The festival featured performances from artists like Jimi Hendrix, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Band and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, among others.

The tribute show at the Backus auditorium is set to present songs that are known and loved from Woodstock, as well as stories to take audiences behind the scenes of the festival. There will also be videos and a Woodstock trivia segment that will feature prizes.

Maxey said the show is already generating a lot of buzz.

“I think it’s going to go well,” she said.

“I was at Backus the other day, I had a meeting, and people were coming in and buying tickets to make sure they got them. Woodstock was a big thing, it was 50 years ago, but you know what? People remember it.

“I was young but I remember it, I watched them on TV, and watched them milling around in their old fashioned clothes, though they weren’t at the time,” added Maxey.

“Feelin’ Alright!” will start at 7 p.m. tomorrow, with doors set to open at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets for the show can be purchased at Betty’s in Fort Frances, from Maxey or at the door. The tickets will be $12 USD for adults, $5 for children six to 12 and free for children under five.

There is also the option to purchase a season pass for the concert series, which are $55 for Backus members and $65 for non-members, as well as a “pick-4” pass which is $38 for members and $44 for non-members. Those who buy a season pass will also receive two free tickets to a show of their choosing.

Other shows planned for this year’s series is a performance of “The Little Prince” by the Borealis Bards, which is a stage adaptation of the beloved French novella, the James Sewell Ballet and “Church of Cash,” a Johnny Cash tribute show.

Anyone looking for more information about membership or the concert series is invited to contact a Backus board member or the Center at 1-218-285-7225.

Closing out this weekend at the community centre is also the annual Harvest Dinner on Sunday, Sept. 29, which Maxey said is always a big hit.

“A lot of Canadians come over for that,” she said.

“That’s in the Backus, it’s on the stage. It’s a fabulous meal.”

Tickets for the dinner are available in advance at $13 USD, and include turkey and stuffing with all the fixins like mashed potatoes, pickled beets, carrots, rutabaga and beverages. Food is also available for takeout and all proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Backus food programs and the Community Cafe.

The dinner will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.