In 1993, some of the members of the “Raiders of the Lost Art” having just completed their 4th year of performing at Cedar Rapids, Iowa’s Brucemore Jazz Festival, felt that there might be enough interest in North Iowa to support a similar festival in the area, and what better venue than Clear Lake’s City Park.
1993, turned out to be one of rainiest summers in history, but on that first Sunday in August, the skies were clear, and people were ready to get out of the house. A large crowd came to the City Park, many not knowing what to expect. A few went away shaking their heads, while most stayed, enjoying the “new” sound of traditional Dixieland music that they hadn’t heard in years. The general consensus was “we need to do this again”… and we did!
During the first 27 years, we were pleased to have entertained guests from over 35 states, and several foreign countries with music from excellent bands from not only the Midwest, but international bands from France and Australia.
The Lakeside DixieFest was produced by Lakeside Festivals LTD, an all-volunteer Iowa non-profit corporation, inducted into the Iowa Volunteers Hall of Fame. The corporation was governed by a volunteer board of directors, and had no paid staff. Board members included:
Diane Ostendorf – Vice President
Mark Hansen – Treasurer
Jim Tjaden – Secretary/Festival Chair