Grab your "Blue Suede Shoes" and head to the Silver Creek International Ukulele Carnival on Aug. 17-19 at Silver Creek Town Hall.

The mini-theme of this year's carnival is "Blue Suede Shoes" and several ukulele groups will incorporate a 1950s piece in their set.

This year marks the eighth annual ukulele carnival, founded in 2011 to bring together ukulele players for fun and education.

The carnival has grown from about 40 people to over 140 registered participants in 2017, representing three countries, 10 states and 20 ukulele groups.

Two Harbors Ukulele Group (THUG) member and carnival organizer Alan Anderson said people keep coming back because of the personal connections.

"It's all about the people," Anderson said. "I know over half of the people pretty well and we all look forward to this time together. It's a time when people with a common interest come together and have a blast."

The free carnival is open to players at all levels. Beginners can develop more skills at the various learning sessions. More seasoned players can jam with players of similar abilities. Players of all levels come together for the concert Saturday.

"It's something else to see those 100-plus ukulele players all playing together," Anderson said.

The carnival starts at 4 p.m. Friday in the Silver Creek Music Pavilion with a strum and sing-along with host Pete McCarty.

The event will be live-streamed on THUG's Facebook page.

The Two Harbors High School Athletics Department will host a spaghetti dinner fundraiser following the strum, before the Friday Night Jam and social, which starts at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, several ukulele workshops, song practices and open mics are scheduled before the annual concert at 4:30 p.m. in the Silver Creek Music Pavilion. The concert, open to the public, is a chance for individual group performances as well as a few songs by the entire group of carnival attendees.

The public is also invited Sunday to the Gooseberry Falls gospel church service at 9 a.m. at Gooseberry Falls State Park in Two Harbors.

"That's one of my favorite parts, " Anderson said. "I know there are some hikers and campers who plan their trips to Gooseberry just to be part of the service. It's something to behold."

The 8th Annual Silver Creek International Ukulele Carnival will wrap up after the service.

For a full itinerary and to register, visit