EVART – The 21st annual Musicale Summer Series will give the community a chance to rub shoulders with musicians during the Evart Folk Festival this weekend.

Hosted by the Evart Downtown Development Authority, the festival will be held at the Evart Depot from Friday, July 1, through Saturday, July 2. It will feature four folk bands, several singalongs and opportunities to dine in local Evart restaurants.

DDA Director Al Weinberg said the annual festival usually provides a boost to the local economy, as it attracts many music lovers from southeast Michigan.

"The festival really helps. The vast majority of people who attend this event are actually from outside the Evart area," he said. "We get a huge group of people visiting from Ann Arbor."

Weinberg said the event will feature music from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday and from 1 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, with several breaks between sets to allow visitors to get lunch or dinner. Picnic tables will be set up for those who wish to bring their own.

The Evart Farmer's Market also will be available to visitors on Saturday morning.

Featured artists will include Matt Watroba, Anne Hills, Steve and Cindy and The Raven Pickers. Weinberg said the artists will often join the crowd when it is not their turn onstage, which creates a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

"This is a very intimate show, so when performers are onstage, the other artists come out and sit in the audience and chit chat with people," Weinberg said. "Folks really like this contact."

Weinberg said Friday night's entertainment will be low key and made up of a singalong and requests by the audience. Saturday will kick off with a "round robin," during which all the artists will take the stage for a preview of their sets.

For those who love storytelling through music and a relaxed, cozy atmosphere, Weinberg said the Evart Folk Festival is the perfect venue. The Musicale Summer Concert Series will continue on Aug. 15 with the Swing Kings at the Evart Depot.