Vermillion Summer Arts and Music Festival returns with fun and enjoyment for all ages Vermillion celebrates summer with its annual Arts and Music Festival on Father's Day Weekend, June 16-17 on the Old Main Quadrangle at The University of South Dakota in Vermillion.
The festival begins on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and continues on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
The festival features a wide variety of music � from jazz and folk, to instrumental � including Celtic songs by the Dakota Pipes & Drums Highland pipe band, Curtis & Loretta and Wind, Wood & Wire. Festival-goers will also hear folk tunes from contemporary to traditional by Dennis Warner, Duggan & Doyle, Cathy Barton & Dave Para and Mary Green Vickrey, with Curtis & Loretta adding to their Celtic repertoire.
Adding to the musical flavor will be the USD Carib Coyotes offering Jamaican steel drum sounds, and new jazz by Happy Apple from Minneapolis and mainstream jazz by the Rolf Olson Quintet. The Lightning Bugs bring vocal swing (ala the Mills Brothers) and the Clay County Choir will add their renditions of popular and Broadway tunes. Coordinated by music guru Bruce Barton, the variety of musicians and their works are certain to delight all ages.
Over 50 art and craft artists from throughout the Midwest will offer their works for sale. Included are pottery, dolls, clothing, wearable art and accessories, textiles, lawn and garden ornaments, stepping stones, birdbaths, birdhouses, jewelry, paintings, wood crafts, photography, sculpture, pressed flowers, images created with pheasant feathers, and more.
Artist-demonstrators add to the festivities. This year the talents of Mary Wise (basket maker), Jason Tinant (tie-dye artist), Shane Fry (raku pottery) and JaMar (candle making) will provide additional enjoyment for festival-goers. Mary Sorensen and Lana Svien-Senne, coordinators of the arts and crafts, agree that there is something for everyone and that the selection is better than ever.
Children's activities will feature arts, crafts and games under the guidance of Vermillion public librarian Kay Dahl, and a host of volunteers. The popular Kiddie Train is back and "Snap-A-Shot for Dad" will be offered each day to enable kids of all ages to have their Polaroid photo taken, framed with materials in the children's tent, and presented to Dad as a special Father's Day treat.
Adding to the fun is the one-and-only Discovery Mime Theatre, featuring illusions, slapstick comedy, juggling, acrobatics and original mime vignettes presented by colorfully costumed Brian Begley, Mary Inman and their daughter, Ariel. These professionals have toured nationally and internationally and are former students of world famous mime Marcel Marceau. Discovery Mime Theatre performances are scheduled for Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in the children's area.
New to the festival this year is the "End of the Trail Welsh Pony Rides." Children will love riding these small, smart, gentle ponies. While all children's activities are underwritten by the festival committee or local sponsors, pony rides are $4.
Wrapping up the festival on both days will be performances of the comedic play The Complete History of America (Abridged), presented by the DLM Theatre Group of Vermillion and starring Patrick Pope, William Myers and Thomas A. Simmons. This is a hilarious 90-minute rollercoaster ride which takes the audience through the glorious quagmire that is American history.
Audiences who appreciated The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) last year are certain to enjoy this interpretation of controversial questions such as: who really discovered America? and how funny were Lewis and Clark? The two shows will start at 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday during the festival in Farber Hall in Old Main. Tickets are $5 at the door. Additional performances are scheduled at the same time and venue on June 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 and 24.
A wide variety of festival foods will also be available including kettlecorn, bloomin' onions, teriyaki sticks, pizza, Hawaiian ice and funnel cakes. Barista's and the Bliss Bar-B-Que Crew will also be serving at the festival.
The festival is sponsored by the Vermillion Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Vermillion, The University of South Dakota of College of Fine Arts and the Vermillion Area Arts Council. For more information contact the Chamber at 624-5571 or 800-809-2071.