Seth Johnson / Daily Journal: Jim and Jeanne Hovland load up a few final things into their trailer before heading off to WE Fest.

Archived Story

WE Fest a tradition for PR family [UPDATED]

Published 8:49am Wednesday, August 3, 2011 Updated 11:22am Wednesday, August 3, 2011

To most, WE Fest is all about country music, partying and having fun, but to one group from the Pelican Rapids area it is these things and lot more.

“It’s one of the only times in the year when our whole family can get together,” said 29-year WE Fester Jeanne Hovland. “It’s become a family tradition. My six brothers come, and a lot of our kids are coming too. We have a rule that they can’t come until they graduate.”

This year the group is up to over 20 WE Festers, and they are bringing six camping vehicles.

“The whole group is family,” she said. “Even my daughter who lives in Colorado makes the trip to WE Fest every year.”

Jeanne and her husband Jim Hovland began going to WE Fest when it was in only its second year.

“It started as a ‘why not?’ thing,” said Jeanne. “We knew there was all of this great entertainment going on less than a half hour away from where we lived, so we decided to check it out.”

As lifelong country music fans, WE Fest was the perfect place to be for the couple. After attending the concerts their first year, they decided to camp the next year, and they have camped on site every year since.

“Most of our best WE Fest memories come from the camp sites,” said Jeanne. “We even have WE Fest friends who we meet up with every year at the camp while we’re camping.”

Although many of their memories are of camping with family and friends, the couple has enjoyed the music over the last 29 years. Their favorite performers have been Martina McBride, Keith Urban and Alabama.

“Going to WE Fest is never a question for us,” said Jeanne. “It gets better and better each year. There’s always something going on, and you never know what’s going to happen.”

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