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A fika to last a lifetime. Or at least a weekend.

by Josh Lindstrom on

Serving superb coffee is a delight. Serving superb coffee in a beautiful outdoor setting is even better. Serving superb coffee in a beautiful outdoor setting amidst the energized buzz of a local music festival is just about as good as it gets. So you can imagine that Fika Coffee was stoked to have a stand at the 8th Annual Radio Waves Music Festival, a weekend of stellar music, scenery and people hosted by WTIP.

Radio_Waves_2013_Day1_CarahThomasMaskell_EOS 011Sweethearts Bluff.preview

photo cred. WTIP

Tucked away in Grand Marais’s Sweetheart’s Bluff, this year’s Radio Waves festival did not disappoint. Boasting a great line-up of bands including both regional and local groups, festival-goers would have been hard-pressed to not find something up their alley. One could even go so far as to say there wasn’t a single song played that was enjoyed by a majority of the people spread out in the welcoming grass. We at Fika Coffee enjoyed ourselves too. We brewed coffee to the twang of banjos and the heart-tugging melody of the pedal steel. Our milk frothier hummed in harmony with the harmonica. And when the Splintertones started in on one of their dance numbers, it was all we could do to keep from spilling the chai we were pouring.


photo cred. WTIP

The weather, too, was boast-worthy, idyllic, with a warm sun and clouds perfect for shape-finding. Families abounded. Children gleefully weaved figure-eights between the lawn chairs that littered the grounds. Lake Superior glimmered in the distance, draped along the horizon like a necklace of diamonds while the leaves of every aspen and birch relished in the remains of summer. The people relished too, finding a deepened sense of pleasure in the weekends festivities, knowing summer would soon slip the grasp and settle in the wintery-corners of the mind.


photo cred. WTIP

September has a way of doing that, causing a person to appreciate and linger in the moment. September is a season’s version of a Minnesota good-bye and, as always, there wasn’t a single person at Radio Waves that wanted to say good-bye to anything the weekend offered. It was as if the entire collective mass of people had a shared intention, a purpose: to stay just a little longer in the now, to pin the present down to time’s wall so it could be enjoyed even for a second more. But it wasn’t a desperate intention; there wasn’t a note of dread or sorrow in it. No one was trying to put anything off, not winter or work or the week ahead, but rather, was saying thank you to what had been and what, for the moment, was.

If we could have captured it with a photograph, we would’ve, but it felt impossible to summarize with the confines of shutter and lens. An entire community of people, milling around in summer’s last breath, dancing and laughing and tapping their toes, is simply too beautiful to contain. It may sound like a bit of a stretch, but from what we could see from behind our booth, Radio Waves looked like a fika for all of Cook County, a community wide coffee break that lasted an entire weekend. And we at Fika Coffee can’t think of anything better than that.


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