ST. JOSEPH ― After two years of holding the Millstream Arts Festival in a different format, the local arts and music festival is returning to its longstanding festival roots.
This year’s festival features a juried outdoor art exhibit, visual arts, live music, dance, hands-on arts activities for kids and adults, and local food.
“The love for the festival is so great with the people who put it on, you can feel it that day,” said Alicia Peters, chairwoman of Millstream. The artists are happy, the people are happy and the organizers are happy. There is a lot of joy that day in connecting in the community.
This year’s event will take place on College Street instead of Minnesota Street. Restaurants, bakeries and local businesses will be open for those looking for good food and artists will be installed in the middle of the street, allowing access to local businesses.
More than 46 artists will share their work with festival-goers, including those from Central Minnesota Watercolor Artists and the Minnesota Street Market Artists Guild. Plus, the event will feature well-known favorites including Longshadow Woodworks, photography by David Barthel, and pottery by JD Jorgenson.
“It’s a chance to see these amazing artists in our community again like we were in 2019,” Peters said.
The event, which historically was held on the last Sunday in September, was moved to the last Sunday in August to coincide with the college move-in weekend and to space out the festival from others in the area.
The change in date, said Peters, meant some of Millstream’s early performers returned to the event for the first time in many years.
This year’s festival not only includes art, but also live music. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Dalmar will take to the outdoor stage in the alley near Krewe. For the second half of the group’s performance, dancers from the Somali Museum of Minnesota will perform. Then, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., a group of seven musicians made up of four women from Collège Saint-Benoît, among others, will perform. The band, titled Miss Darling Jane, draws inspiration from artists like Fleetwood Mac, Elton John and Rush.
Then, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Josh Cleveland will close the day.
Additionally, Buddy King and his son will play drums during the festival, with traveling half-hour performances at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
The Avon Folk School will offer hands-on art projects for children and adults during the event. And, people will use the Krewe restaurant kitchen to prepare Sambusa.
“In the past Millstream has done a good job of bringing different cultures and backgrounds into the show, we’re really intentional about that,” Peters said. “People missed it and it’s a favorite.”
The Millstream Arts Festival runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 28 on College Avenue North in St. Joseph.