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Art attracts in Afton

The 33rd Annual Afton Art in the Park will take place Sept. 24-25 in Afton's Town Square Park and include over 70 vendors, live music, classic car show, business fair and food vendors.

Afton Art in the Park is back again for another year and organizers hope this year's event will be bigger and better than all the rest.

The 33rd annual Afton Art in the Park, organized by the Afton Area Business Association, will be held Sept. 24 and Sept. 25 in Afton Town Square Park.

Last year, Art in the Park attracted between 5,000 and 6,000 visitors.

"We have a great variety of artists this year," said event organizer Kathy Jarvis of the Afton House Inn. "We have about 70-plus vendors, so it's a pretty large show."

Some of this year's vendor booths include photography, painting, clothing, lawn and garden art and jewelry.

"We have some really great themed jewelry," Jarvis said. "I think we have every type of handcrafted jewelry you can think of."

Some additional vendors this year include a henna artist and a caricature artist.

"Caricatures are kind of a fun thing," Jarvis said. "That might make a nice holiday greeting card."

Other vendor booths include woodworking, glass working and homemade soaps.

In addition to the art vendors, Art in the Park will also include live music, the MG Classic Car Show, a beer garden and food vendors.

A few new items this year include a business fair and a silent auction.

Every year Art the Park serves as a fundraiser for the Afton Preschool, which runs a food booth, but this year they will be adding a silent auction to the event.

Items in the silent auction include numerous gift certificates, Jarvis said.

"That's going to be kind of fun," she said. "People can bid on some of these really nice items."

Also new this year is the business fair, which will be an area separated from the art vendors where several businesses will have booths set up.

"We've had so many people and businesses want to be able to market themselves," she said. "So it's really great to have that this year."

Some of the businesses that will be there include: Family Wellness Center, My Pillows, Lifetime Chiropractic and Vibrant Life Center.

Jarvis said the determining factor in Art in the Park's success is always the weather.

"Hopefully it ends up being as nice as they're predicting," she said.

Jarvis said Art in the Park has picked up in recent years after going through a slight downturn after the economy hit a lot of people and prevented them from spending money on items.

"The economy has gotten a little stronger now," she said. "People are spending money a little bit more, and this is the time of year when people are looking for holiday gifts."

Jarvis said she's excited about this year's Art in the Park and is hopeful that it will be a great event.

"It's always fun to have people in town and see it lively," she said. "It's going to be a bigger event this year and it's going to be a real fun event."

Afton Art in the Park will be Sept 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sept. 25 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mark Keating will perform from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Patchouli will perform from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday. The MG Classic Car Show will take place on Saturday. For more information on Afton Art in the Park, visit

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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