Posted 6/21/16 (Tue)
Farmer Staff Writer
Jessie Veeder can’t quite put her finger on how many times she’s played Homefest, but she knows she started around 10 years old.
“They used to have Homefest as part of this Art in the Park event when I was growing up, and Art in the Park as part of Homefest was one of my very first gigs as a kid,” she said. “That’s sort of cool. That was one of my first debuts as a singer in public.”
Veeder and Outlaw Sippin’ are lined up to perform Saturday night for Homefest on Main Street, rounding out the two-day homecoming festival with original music, covers and blends of rock, rap and country.
“It’s a party in the streets so we’ll keep it nice and upbeat and entertaining,” Veeder said.
Starting the party off Friday night is Contention, a central Minnesota band on its first trip west of Minot.
“I was pretty excited to actually hear about Watford City as I have a high school friend who lives out there,” guitarist and lead singer Calvin Deters said. “It’s our first time playing out there.”
The band brings a wide variety to its set, from sounds of the ’70s to today’s country music and classic rock.
“We play quite a bit of country music but we do have a bit of a rock edge to it,” Deters said. “We like to put on a high energy show and keep everyone out dancing.”
Deters and his brother Colby play guitar in Contention with Larry Gwost on drums and Max Thomason on bass. The Deters brothers hail from a Sauk Centre, Minn., dairy farm, but Calvin does sales engineering work in Fargo while Colby works on the farm.
“We’re pretty excited to be out,” Deters said.
Like Contention, Veeder said Saturday night will have variety as well, and picking music from her four-album repertoire makes things interesting.
“Usually it depends on the venue and the audience, and I’m very familiar with what the Main Street Watford City part is like,” she said with a small laugh.
Having a full band like Outlaw Sippin’ offers a lot of playing power, and Veeder will be taking requests and playing it by ear.
Like anyone attending Homefest, just being in town is celebration enough.
“Even when I wasn’t living here, it was fun to come back and experience Homefest, but then be back as a musician entertaining people is really fun,” Veeder said.
Along with the concerts, Homefest 2016 will also feature a one-mile kids’ run and theater performance Friday, along with a parade of homes, golf scramble, mud volleyball and adult party games Saturday, among other summer fun events.