Summer festival plans include art, musicians

Summer festival plans include art, musicians by M. Jill Sundstrom It may be a cliche�, but �bigger and better than ever� is the only way to describe this year�s Vermillion Summer Arts Festival set for June 19-20.

�Thirty-six vendors have already signed up for the festival,� said Randy Harper, a member of the Summer Arts Festival Board of Directors. �We already have more booths and more food than we�ve had in previous years.�

This is the sixth Summer Arts Festival in Vermillion, which is held on The University of South Dakota Campus between Slagle Hall and Old Main. The event will feature artisans from Vermillion, Sioux Falls and Viborg, as well as cities in Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa. They will sell their artwork which includes dolls, pottery, stoneware, handmade paper, photographs, chainsaw sculptures, paintings and wood crafts. Other artwork includes painted shirts, jewelry, handbags, sculptures, leather carvings, hand-loomed rugs and quilts.

�We also have children�s activities along with ethnic food booths and a wide variety of entertainment,� Harper said.

Performers for 1999 include the Carib Coyotes, River City Ragtime Band, Ann Zimmerman, T. Wilson King, Rolf Olson & All That Jazz, Chuck Suchy, Art Stevenson & High Water, Curtis & Loretta and Slainte.

�Each year we take a look at what is well-received by festival attendees the previous year and expand on that,� Harper said. �That�s why it gets better and better each year. We�re also not afraid to try something new to draw the crowds.�

Sponsored by the Vermillion Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Vermillion, USD�s College of Fine Arts, the W.H. Over State Museum and the Vermillion Area Arts Council, the festival holds a series of fund-raising events throughout the year. The recent Artspresso was just one example, raising $750.

�We plan to host other fund-raising events prior to this year�s festival as well,� Harper said.

In addition to the Summer Arts Festival, Vermillion�s downtown merchants will host a sidewalk sale on June 19.

�There will be a shuttle bus running from the festival to the downtown area so shoppers can take advantage of both events without spending their time looking for parking,� Harper said.

The Vermillion Summer Arts Festival is a traditional family event, with activities for folks of all ages, he added.

�It�s geared for the whole family,� Harper said. �In addition to all the booths and entertainment, we�ll have a tent set up for children�s activities. People can come and enjoy the music, shop for unique crafts and just have fun.�

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