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Lake City gets Funky once a year

The Funky Sidewalks Festival in Lake City has a whole new look this year. It runs 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday May 26.

This fourth annual downtown event has been sponsored by Treats and Treasures of Lake City twice each year.

"There are lots of people in the Lake Pepin area during the long holiday weekend and we created Funky Sidewalks to provide them with an activity, to showcase our regional artists and artisans and to generate activity in our downtown area on a Sunday during a long weekend," said Jil Garry event organizer.

One notable change is that the festival will only be held only once each year - the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. The Labor Day weekend event is being dropped.

"We are putting our time and energy into continued growth and improvements for the Memorial weekend festival", Garry added.

Look for a focus on the arts, featuring everything from repurposed and upcycled goods to the fine arts.

"We're discontinuing the farmers market and antique categories to focus on the goods produced by artists and artisans in the area," Jil said.

After listening to suggestions from the artists and the festival attendees, Funky Sidewalks organizers said the event will now be a juried art festival.

An array of artisans ranging from handmade furnishings, hand dyed wearables, handcrafted jewelry, painters, photographers and potters will be showcased.

"Repurposing is extremely popular and we have some participants coming who do really fun, creative things with junk," she said.

Artists have been submitting their work, mostly by pictures via e-mail, to Garry who forwards them on to the panel of jurors who determine that the work is appropriate for this venue.

While the event is named Funky Sidewalks and has been held on the sidewalks for the past three years, the city of Lake City has given the organizers permission to close the street for a block on Washington Street this year.

There will still be artists on the sidewalk of Lyon Avenue from Dunphey's Lake City Diner to the Old Bank Bar corner also the Washington Street sidewalk and street from the Rivage to the Mill House Market.

In addition to the visual arts for sale and the music to enjoy, there is another new twist this year's festival - Author's Corner.

A table and chairs on the corner of Lyon Avenue and Washington Street in front of the Rivage marks the site where authors can sell, sign or chat about their work.

M.A. Hugger will be on hand from 9 to 11 a.m. Her series of books about a young man named Danny Malloy is laced with history about the Lake Pepin area. Also, Marcia Savela will share her works of poetry.

From 11 a.m. to noon Elsie Dunne is featured. Her book "Feed the Mice" is a journey for children into the lives of the animals in the forest.

Writer Ron Hunt appears noon to 1 p.m. with, "Welcome Back to Mantorville", followed by Lake City children's author Joel Grettenberg.

Finishing out the day at the corner is fellow Lake City author, Donna Halvorson.

Hear local Kyle Thomas on guitar from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Tim Kriese, a frequent performer at Treats and Treasures events, plays 10:30 a.m. to noon.

College Fund is a trio from Rochester whose guitar, mandolin, and steel drum performance accompanies their vocals.

"The high school students are returning after being crowd favorites at last fall's festival," Garry said. The group plays from noon to 1 p.m. and 1:30 to 4 p.m.

Lake City youth band Illuminate entertains 1 to 1:30 p.m.

Stroll the streets and enjoy tunes, food, art and creative folk alike - and the view is not bad either.

At a glance ...

What:Stroll the Funky Sidewalks Festival.

Events: Live music includes 9-10:30 a.m. guitarist Kyle Thomas; 10:30 a.m.-noon Tim Kriese; noon-1 p.m. and 1:30 to 4 p.m. trio College Fund; and from 1-1:30 p.m. youth band Illuminate.

Authors Corner, at Lyon Avenue and Washington Street features authors M. A. Hugger, Marcia Savela, Elsie Dunne, Ron Hunt, Joel Grettenberg and Donna Halvorson.

When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday May 26

Where: Downtown Lake City

Cost: Free

More info: Jil Garry at 651-345-2882 or email