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St. Paul Pioneer Press, Artist Mention >>

St. Paul weekend festivals: Grand Old Day, St. Anthony Park Arts Festival, Art in the Hollow

By Maja Beckstrom and Amy Carlson Gustafson

It's a grand weekend for events -- from the Flint Hills Children's Festival in downtown St. Paul, to Grand Old Day up the hill and two arts festivals in parks.

Grand Old Day on Sunday, June 3, bills itself as the largest one-day festival in the Midwest, and it's certainly one of the longest -- stretching 2-1/2 miles along St. Paul's Grand Avenue.

Catch the early morning races, a parade at 10 a.m. (heading west from Dale Street on Grand), live bands, artwork, food booths, children's games and bands and, with 250,000 people in attendance, some of the best people-watching around. Adults can buy wristbands for $8 to six roped-off areas featuring live music and alcohol. Seven stages will feature more than 20 performances in the

afternoon sun, including sets from Solid Gold, the Soviettes, Blind Shake, Charlie Parr, Tim Sigler, Boogie Wonderland, White Iron Band, Rocket Club, Orange Whip and Hookers and Blow.

New this year is Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on Dixie's Stage, with winners earning a trip to the ESPN-televised finals at the original Nathan's Famous in Coney Island on July Fourth.

Social media fans can try the first Pinterest Scavenger Hunt. Download a list of things to photograph from the Grand Old Day Facebook page. Capture the most items, ranging from a cowboy hat to the Timberwolves dancers and you could win Minnesota Wild Tickets or other prizes.

Grand Old Day is from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Grand Ave., from Dale Street to Fairview Avenue. More info: 651-699-0029 or

While they aren't nearly as, well, grand as Grand Old Day, both Art in the Hollow and St. Anthony Park Arts Festival are two fun art-centric outdoor events happening in St. Paul this weekend. Both festivals take place on Saturday, so they won't interfere with your Grand Old plans.

Art in the Hollow takes place at the charming Swede Hollow Park (10 a.m.-5 p.m.; 650 Payne Ave.; and includes creations by more than two- dozen artists along with an entertainment lineup featuring a mariachi band, hula dancers, Hmong dancers, a Cambodian orchestra, a Korean drum troupe and drummers from the Mounds Park American Indian Magnet School. At 4 p.m. East Side composer Ann Millikan will premiere "Swede Hollow," a 40-minute opera about the history of the area. And if that's not enough for you, there will also be paintings by endangered parrots from a nearby sanctuary.

At the juried St. Anthony Park Arts Festival with more than 70 artists and two stages of entertainment (9:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.; Como Avenue from Carter Avenue to Luther Place; Not only can the kiddos dance along to the sounds of live music, they can also visit the petting zoo, take a pony ride or spend some time in the Children's Art Tent. A used book sale and St. Anthony Park Garden Club plant sale will also take place during the event. Proceeds from the art festival support summer reading and activity programs at the St. Anthony Park Library.

And for the family, the Flint Hills International Children's Festival has festivities Saturday and Sunday inside and outside the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts.

The Scottish theater group Visible Fictions presents the swashbuckling tale of the black-masked Zorro in one of the main acts at this annual arts festival for kids. Other performers include Drums United, a group of nine percussionists from seven countries, and Theatre des Petites Ames from Montreal, Canada, which presents a gentle puppet show for toddlers and preschoolers called "BAM." The West African drum and dance ensemble Fakoly rounds out indoor performances at the Ordway.

Dance Theatre of Ireland performs outdoors in Rice Park on giant foam blocks (nothing like Riverdance), along with a host of local entertainment and arts activities for kids.

More info: 651-224-4222 or

 05/31/12 >> go there
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