American Hero’s Music Festival Begins Today

9/7/12 – The headliner of this weekend’s American Hero’s Music Festival in Beaver Dam was inspired to write a song after attending the funeral of a relative and a fallen Beaver Dam Marine. Joe Cantafio wrote the song “Brave Warrior” for his cousin Ryan Cantafio, who was killed in Iraq on Thanksgiving in 2004. He says he was moved by the faces of the people lining the streets of Beaver Dam during Ryan’s funeral, many of them holding American flags with tears streaming down their cheeks. Cantafio told Ryan’s father that he would make sure no one ever forgets his son. Cantafio says the first time he played “Brave Warrior” for Ryan’s dad, it was clear that Ryan was listening. He says the power to the festival grounds went out just as he began singing the first words. Ryan’s dad laughed, pointed up to the sky and said, “Ryan hated publicity.” The two-day American Hero’s Music Festival at Swan Park begins tonight with an opening ceremony at 5pm. Main Street Wisdom is on the stage at 6:30pm followed by Oil Can Harry at 8:30pm. A parade begins downtown at 11am tomorrow (Sat) with opening ceremonies starting at 12:30pm. Music tomorrow includes the Elwood Lee Band, Crystal Waters and Alexis, a group that features Ryan Cantafio’s uncles, cousins and mother, Sandy Hautamaki on lead vocals. Joe Cantafio’s 101st Rock Division Band, the band that rocked Iraq, closes out the two-day festival. Joe Cantafio will be our guest this afternoon on WBEV’s Community Comment along with Beaver Dam Mayor Tom Kennedy representing the Exchange Club of Beaver Dam, the organization sponsoring this weekend’s American Hero’s Music Festival. We will be broadcasting live from the Swan Park band shell