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The Story of the Dog Patch Music Festival name

    Dog Patch Music Festival is a family owned festival and is operated by family and close friends. The festival grounds are literally in Marc and Kim’s back yard creating a family fun environment for all in attendance!!

    The name Dog Patch is a part of our community’s history. This info that I am passing on to all of you was passed onto my parents and myself by the exact people who settled this community. Settlers like Emil and Louise Vogel, Alex Kopitoski and Sam and Walter Schweigert passed this info onto my family where my folks then documented it. Back in the 1930s, during the depression it was very hard for families to make it in the city, because of lack of food and living conditions during the big economic crash in the infamous “Dirty Thirties’. The government created a “make work program” where the government planned on building a railroad grade in the northern Saskatchewan forest. Each family got a parcel of land where they could build a modest cabin, grow a garden and hunt wild game while the men worked on the railroad grade for pennies a day. It wasn’t much but it was enough for these people to survive and eat well. As opposed to living in the city where this was not possible due to food shortages caused by the Depression. Hundreds of families migrated to the bush where I currently live to this day. Even though these men made pennies a day for the hard work they did, they were able to provide a way to feed and house their families. When the Depression was over, many moved back to the city. However, a select few enjoyed this lifestyle and decided to stay. They formed several settlements that turned into the community that is now know as Whelan where I currently live.

    The people that stayed here were very hearty and lived very meagrely. It was very basic conditions that consisted of small shacks in the bush. At the time there was a comic strip call “Lil Abner”. Within this story line there was a fictional place called “Dog Patch” and that is where the “hillbillies” lived. Other folks called this place Dog Patch because of the rough living conditions and was meant as a derogatory name. However, the people here were proud of this lifestyle and wore the name Dog Patch as a badge of honour. People farmed, hunted and trapped to make a living. If it wasn’t for these early settlers in the 1930’s, our current community wouldn’t exist as it does today. When my parents and myself immigrated here in the early 1970s from Iowa, many of these old folks were still alive. My Dad was wounded in the Vietnam war he wanted to move into the wilderness and away from the madness he experienced during his tour in Vietnam. My folks and I started our lives the same way these folks did in very basic conditions. Heck, we didn’t even have indoor plumbing until I was in grade 6. Many of these original settlers were still alive, and taught my parents all the same tricks of the trade that they learned to survive in the wilderness. My Dad hunted, trapped and eventually we had a ranch and outfitting business. We certainly lived off the land in those early years. Back in the early eighties my folks would have a party and pig roast to celebrate harvest and called it The Dog Patch Pig Roast in honour of the 1930’s settlers. It ran annually from 1981 to 1983.

    The property in which I live on currently is the very first quarter section of land my dad ever purchased back in 1970. it is situated directly beside two trapping lakes, so it only seemed proper that when I started this music festival in 2014 I named it Dog Patch Music Festival to not only honour my parents who have since passed. I also wanted to honour the hearty settlers that I remember as a child. Dog Patch Music Festival is proud to celebrate our community’s rich history.

That is how Dog Patch Music Festival got its name.

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