Boaters relax and listen in the warm May sun during the last floating concert, featuring the Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers. This weekend’s show will feature Reina Del Cid, a folk artist from Minneapolis.
by NATHANIEL NELSON
Get your kayaks ready — the floating concert is coming back to Winona this weekend with Reina Del Cid as the headliner of the series’ fourth installment.
WINONArts will host a floating concert this Sunday at 4 p.m. off the shore of Lake Winona. People are welcome to bring their own boats, use a boat from Lake Lodge Recreation Center, or watch the show from the shores.
According to Lee Gundersheimer, Winona’s art and culture coordinator, the series started last July after local musician Mike Munson approached the city about putting on a show on the water.
“Mike came to [the park and recreation department] and said he had a dream of playing in the middle of the lake, and thought people would paddle out to see it,” Gundersheimer said.
The concert was a huge success, with dozens of boaters filling the lake to listen to Munson’s bluesy riffs. The show was followed by a “Not-So-Floating” concert in February featuring The Old-Fashioneds, where the band played on the shore as people grabbed pairs of ice skates and went out on the ice, and then another floating concert earlier this year with the Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers.
“The shows are a combination of the best parts of Winona,” Gundersheimer explained, “the scenic beauty, love of the arts, and entrepreneurship on the part of Mike Munson.”
The shows typically consist of a large floating platform cast out into the middle of the lake, complete with a small sound system and all the amenities needed for a musician. After a short set-up period, boaters begin to flock to the water to get up close and personal with the band in an idyllic outdoors locale.
It is a slightly different kind of event than many of the other musical shows put on throughout the year, but according to Gundersheimer, that difference is mostly in the crowd.
“The only difference between this and our larger events, like Live at the Levee, is that this allows us to marry parks and recreation and families who want physical activities with the art-loving crowd,” Gundersheimer explained.
The floating concert, like all WINONArts events, is entirely free to the public. Gundersheimer explained that this is to make sure there is no barrier for entry, and to keep a steady stream of art available to the public.
Reina Del Cid, the concert’s featured act, is a singer-songwriter group based out of Minneapolis. Starting out as a solo artist, Del Cid eventually recruited several other musicians to transform the act into a full-scale band. The group is known for its Indie folk roots, and has had music featured in Paste Magazine, NPR, and Baeble Music.
Reina Del Cid at WINONArts Floating Concert Series will start at 4 p.m. on Sunday, August 5, off the shore of Lake Winona at Lake Lodge Recreation Center. Boats will be available on a first-come first-served basis at 3:30 p.m. from the center, but people are welcome to bring their own boats.