Festival continues to flourish in A.L.Published 9:52am Friday, June 21, 2013
Organizers are gearing up for the first of three Wind Down Wednesday festivals slated for the summer.
The first event, scheduled for Wednesday, will go from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Central Park in western downtown.
“It gives people an opportunity to come together, to really wind down and relax, to enjoy the beautiful park and our community,” said Susie Petersen, executive director of the Albert Lea Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It’s about bringing the community together.”
Designed after a weekly festival in Rochester called Thursdays on First, Wind Down Wednesday will be set up like an outdoor market, offering food, drinks, live entertainment and arts and craft vendors.
This will be the second year for the festivals in Albert Lea. The two festivals in 2012 were on Broadway, but because of the reconstruction of the street, organizers decided to move them to the park for this summer.
Petersen said as of Thursday there were 22 arts and crafts vendors and seven food and beverage vendors who signed up to participate.
The artisans could offer anything ranging from drawings and paintings, to photography, jewelry and woodworking. There could also be textiles, paper goods, sculptures and pottery.
A group of people selected as a jury reviewed the applications to make sure the artwork or craft was 85 to 90 percent handmade. Food vendors also had to fill out an application and had to be licensed to participate.
In addition to the vendors, there will be live entertainment throughout the day on a stage set up in the park.
Petersen said Three Wheels and a Flat will perform at 11:30 a.m., Marcie Sailor will lead Zumba from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. and Steve Sullivan & The Factory will headline the festival from 6 to 8 p.m.
Alcohol will be served within a blocked off portion of the park, and people drinking will be given a cup with the Wind Down Wednesday logo on it to use for drinks.
The event will take place rain or shine.
Petersen said she hopes the event continues to grow the remainder of the summer and in the next few years.
“Our hope is to slowly grow it and grow it right,” she said. “We want to grow it and give the community a good night.”
Other Wind Down Wednesday festivals are slated for July 17 and Aug. 21.