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Live on Water Street links Luther with Decorah through local flavors

Olivia Enquist, Staff Writer

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Scenic downtown Decorah hosted Live on Water Street as a part of the Water Street Music Series. Advertised as the cross-section of music, food, and drink on Saturday, Sept. 9, the event was organized by Luther alumni and Water Street Music Series co-founders Dan Fernelius (‘13) and Lindsay Sheridan (‘13) in collaboration with the Oneota Community Food Co-op.

According to Luther Emiretus and musical contributor at the event John Goodin, the Water Street Music Series began as a way to integrate the Luther community and the Decorah community together by highlighting the importance of connection through music and food. Gooding described the importance of music and events within the Decorah community.

“I’ve lived here for not quite 25 years, and one of the reasons that I chose to move here was that Decorah is an active musical town,” Goodin said. “There are a lot of people who love to dance, that love to listen, and that love to play.”

The Water Street Music Series began in the fall of 2012 during Sheridan and Fernelius’s senior year at Luther College. They have enjoyed their close bond with the community, saying that this event was the culmination of previous, smaller collaborations with the Co-op.

Sheridan described how the organization’s focus on community was an important aspect within their goals for the event and how Live on Water Street strived to bring in music from the Midwest region. 

“For this performance in particular, we were focusing on bringing in more people with a regional pull,” Sheridan said. “The idea being that if we love them, we want our Decorah audience to see them. We want to provide the opportunity to bring more of the regional talent here.”

The event featured food from the Co-op, beverages from Puplit Rock Brewing Company and Toppling Goliath Brewery, and music from the three ensembles. The event opened with music from John Goodin on mandolin and Erik Sessions on violin.

They were followed by Dickie, a musical group based out of Sheffield, Iowa, whose music, according to their Facebook page, is a combination of “subtle symphonies layered over indie-pop melodies.” Farewell Milwaukee, a folk-rock group based out of Minneapolis, was the final band to play in the event.

Farewell Milwaukee’s front man, Ben Lubeck, noted his great appreciation for the music of the Midwest.

“It means so much to us to be from here, and we feel very honored to have grown up in the Midwest ” Lubeck said. “Obviously the bands of the Midwest, the Americana bands, the alt-country bands — Wilco, and the Jayhawks — have all influenced us, and they’re all from here too.”

Attendee Veronica Seher (‘17) saw this musical event as a new chance for all community members to connect over things they love.

“My favorite part of the evening was getting to see all of the Decorah community coming out and enjoying a lot of good drinks, food, and music,” Seher said.

According to Sheirdan, this downtown event is possible because of the dedication of Water Street Music Series to providing entertainment that the local community wants to see.

According to Sheridan, this unique event drew a wide variety of community members from both Luther and Decorah.

“I saw a lot of Luther students, families, and young people from town,” Sheridan said. “I think it’s just this great cross- section where everyone is enjoying claiming this block of Water Street as their own.”

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