If you're looking for a way to get into the holiday spirit, The Slew Foot Family Band will perform its Christmas concert Sunday, Dec. 3, at 2 p.m. at the Perham Center for the Arts. Prior to the show, kids can decorate cookies starting at 1 p.m. Freewill donations will be accepted.
This isn't the first time Duane and Karen Becker and their eight kids have played in Perham. They were at Turtle Fest this summer and have played at Perham living several times.
"Perham is a beautiful town, we enjoy coming there," Karen Becker said. "The last time we visited we discovered Bongards, the kids really liked that," she added laughing.
The family started performing about 10 years ago, but Becker said they've really become busy about the last four or five years. Becoming a performing group wasn't the goal, it started out as volunteering.
"We were spending money on music lessons, and we decided to put that money to good use by volunteering our time at local nursing homes in Sauk Center," Becker said.
The family, which is from Grey Eagle, Minn., stays in the Midwest, traveling down to Iowa and South Dakota, and out to Omaha, Neb. once a year. Becker said they do go to Fargo quite a bit, and this year they had the opportunity to play at the Minnesota state Fair. They perform between 150 and 200 shows a year.
The kids range in age from 23 to eight, and are: Joshua, Breanna, Monica, Lucia, Lydia, Gilbert, Martin and Felix. They play a wide variety of instruments, including guitar, mandolin, bass, hammered dulcimer, harmonica, and the tin whistle to name a few.
Becker enjoys listening to all the instruments but said one of her favorite parts of the show and one she thinks audiences seem to enjoy a lot is the clogging and dancing.
When asked how long they will keep performing, Becker said she doesn't know. They've already had some people ask to book them for next Christmas, but she just takes it one day at a time.
"As long as we're still having fun, we'll keep going" Becker said. " My favorite part of doing the shows is being together as a family."