Sandra Updyke with some of her photographs along with Diamond Willow furniture hand crafted by her husband Bruce..
HOVLAND, MINNESOTA --- July 2, 2015 ----- This year marks our 10th annual festival. That is somewhat of a milestone for a small group of community artisans to put something together that worked well the first year and to make it grow each year. We can’t expand our festival very much because of space restraints. However, we have started trying to pull in a guest vendor or two each year to give a bit more variety. The first few years, we limited it to strictly our community. We are self-funded and get no grant money what-so-ever. Some of us have been at every event.
The musicians are from the community and Cook County. Again, this is a generous giving of their talent and time; since, they come on a volunteer basis. We have a wide variety of music, too, from fine guitar to family groups that are extremely talented. There is always a container for donations in the music tent. Some of them have CDs out and sell them at the time of their performance. But, they come and play with no guarantee of what they will receive. So, come and listen to some wonderfully talented people perform and give generously.
The artists are a talented group of people. We have everything from fine art and jewelry, to photography, to traditional art forms on leather and birchbark. We have several forms of beadwork, all of which are very beautiful. We have some fiber artists that do lovely work. We have a number of artisans that do woodwork of various kinds and all do beautiful work. There are many different types of arts and crafts and we try to bring in some of all of them to our festival. We have even, in previous years, had a birch bark canoe builder there demonstrating his craft.
We have free space for kids to get a start on arts and crafts also. Children make some pretty interesting items, which always appeal to some of the public that visits. Some sell lemonade to keep you hydrated while you walk around and check out the wares. A few years back, one of the young guys had a huge rhubarb patch at home and made a homemade rhubarb drink that really went well and always sold out.
Susan Zimmerman with hand painted Gourds
Then, there is the Trinity Church which shares the space at the Town Hall. They had a special musical service with a group of musicians in the early years that filled the church to the brim and chairs were outside the back doors even it was so popular. That was when the events ran Saturday and Sunday. Now, the church uses its kitchen and people to make food for the people who attend the event. There is always something tasty cooking over there so people can get something to eat while attending the all day event. They put their money toward some fund raising need in the community. So, this event benefits a lot of people locally and is fun for all who attend.
Aboriginal painting created by First Nation artists from North of Lake Superior and along the Hudson Bay Coast.