The Pistol Whippin’ Party Penguins return to this year’s Truckerfest.

Truckerfest, a 3-year-old festival that is new to Princeton, will bring Americana music to the city this weekend at the Mille Lacs County Fairgrounds.

While the main event is on Saturday, Oct. 9, the gates officially open at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, for visitors who spring for the overnight parking pass. Tickets are $50 a piece online plus $25 for an overnight parking pass. Tickets jump up to $60 at the gate.

Music on Friday night starts at 5:30 p.m. and runs until 10 p.m. It resumes Saturday morning at 11 a.m. and runs until 10:15 p.m. Guests with an overnight parking pass are invited to an acoustic set, featuring Javier Trejo, in the pavilion following the main show Saturday night.

“I’m just really excited to bring a bunch of bands that don’t suck to the area,” organizer Shawn Sullivan said.

Truckerfest is organized by Sullivan, who hosts an internet radio show called The Happy Trucker Show. The goal of Truckerfest was to bring great regional music to a local venue, according to Sullivan.

Michele McPherson, president of the Mille Lacs County Fair Board, described the music Sullivan hosts on his radio show as older Americana roots.

Sullivan started the festival three years ago, though due to the coronavirus pandemic it is only the second festival where they have hosted an event. He enjoys going to festivals and said he could not find one like this in the area, so he started it. Truckerfest will bring in artists from around the state and as far as Texas.

“It’s just a good mix of something new in the area, but yet still comforting,” Sullivan said.

Through his work as The Happy Trucker, Sullivan has worked with the Mille Lacs County Fair Board in the past and wanted to host the event at the fairgrounds.

“The people make it pretty special, the fact that they have that beautiful band shell right in the middle of their fairgrounds lends themselves to it and then of course the surrounding buildings and the grounds themselves,” Sullivan said.

The show was originally supposed to be a few bands on a Saturday afternoon, but the lineup kept growing until they added the Friday night lineup and the after party, according to Sullivan.

“Really what happened is I had a hard time saying no, and there was so much great music,” Sullivan said.

Tickets and more information can be found at



Friday, Oct. 8

• 5:30-7:30 p.m. Doug Otto

• 8-10 p.m. Javier Trejo

Saturday, Oct. 9

• 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Poppa Bear Norton

• 12:30-1:30 p.m. Christopher David Hanson Band

• 2-3 p.m. Honky Tonk Jump

• 3:30-4:30 p.m. Jillian Rae

• 5-6 p.m. Pistol Whippin’ Party Penguins

• 6:30-8 p.m. Joyann Parker

• 8:30-10:15 p.m. Wayne Hancock

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