It started with high winds and heavy rain and ended with sunshine and gentle breezes.
The lineups to get in to the opening night concert were frustratingly long, but those with patience were rewarded with a stellar night of music.
The Winnipeg Folk Festival paid attendance for July 4 was 9,889 and judging by the parking lot (about two-thirds full) and the crowds that stretched out almost to the back of the field in front of main stage, the first night of the 39th edition was a success.
On the down side, the lineup to get to the site for the evening was extremely long. Many frustrated people waited up to an hour and a half to get in. Some attenders even gave up and left the site.
Organizers blame the clasp on the wristband that proved fussy to attach. The festival is assuring festival goers that the problems with the lineup will be fixed for the Thursday night concert.
Once through the gates, there were happy smiles and good spirits.
Whereas some folk festivals across the country are largely a baby-boomer affair, Winnipeg's festival is notable for attracting people of all ages.
There were teenagers sporting their apprentice volunteer shirts, plenty of families, a substantial amount of seniors grooving to the music, and yes, a healthy amount of baby-boomers.
Greg Selinger was spotted in the crowd, and so was folk festival founder Mitch Podolak.
The evening opened with alt-folk Snowblink and wrapped up with one of Canada's best known exports. Feist hit it right out of the ballpark (or the provincial park in this case) with a fine set of tunes, that included both new songs and beloved hits.
From the moment she got on stage, Feist engaged with the crowd, and invited their musical participation. Her band was in fine form, and the three back up singers--Vermont Appalachian folk trio Mountain Man-- were outstanding.
The day began with the dramatic opening of the gates early in the morning to let in the campers, then the even more dramatic rainstorm.
The kick off concert in downtown Winnipeg at Old Market Square at noon had to be cancelled but the rain has not dampened the spirit of the thousands who lined up at the crack of dawn on Wednesday, hoping to snag the best campsite.
Over 6,000 campers were expected, according to the Winnipeg Folk Festival. For the second year running, under direction of the RCMP, vehicles were not allowed to stop or line-up on Hwy 59 prior to 7:00 a.m..
By 7:15 a.m. there were vehicles lined up as far as the eye could see.
Mark Druwe caught everyone's attention in his 1979 motor home painted up by a local graffiti artist. It's decorated in a rainbow of colours with an Aztec princess on one side and a Mexican warrior on the other. Druwe has been a fan of the festival since the beginning and even worked there in the early days.
Carey Buss was also waiting in line. He is looking forward to Iron & Wine, but admits "I find you discover a lot of music at the folk fest which is half the appeal."
Adela Strycharz was first in line, decked out in a "magical" Bob Marley poncho. Her advice to festival goers? "Just let it be, let it take you. Just embrace everything."
CBC Local News will broadcast live at the festival, Thursday, July 5 at 5:00, 5:30 and 6:00 p.m. Stop by to meet hosts Janet Stewart and Mitch Peacock along with special guests. They will be set up at the back of the field in front of the Main Stage.
The festival is offering a Festival Express -- free -- to and from the site. The bus leaves every 30 minutes from Memorial and York. If you plan to drive, provincial park passes are in effect and you will have to play $30.00 -- cash only.
Then it's a weekend chock full of music. SCENE has already chosen a top 10 for you.