It’s summertime in Brookings, South Dakota. And, on the second weekend in July, one of the city’s largest events lures thousands of people to the city to venture out into nature at Pioneer Park. Of course, I’m talking about the Brookings Summer Arts Festival that took place this past weekend.
It’s an event full of different types of arts, crafts and antiques to enjoy or purchase from more than 200 artists from across the nation. And that’s not counting the 100+ vendors that set up tents and booths outside of the park. They all travel to the Brookings community to share their talents and showcase their work. And that’s just the art part of the festival!
Are you into antiques and other collectible items? If yes, then the festival had something for you with 10 dedicated booths. Are you interested in the history of South Dakota? There were 20 living history booths showing what it was like to live on the plains more than 100 years ago. They even featured more than 25 edible and naturals artisans that brought their unique talents and products to the park.
The festival really does have something for everyone. Live music added to the atmosphere while children’s events helped make the festival a true family affair. The bandshell always brings in a crowd as people take a rest and enjoy the performances. Other stages were set up around the park to bring music and entertainment to people as they perused the artwork and crafts.
Personally, my favorite part is the food. With more than 35 gourmet and ethnic food vendors, they had everything from slushies and kettle corn to Indian tacos and crab fritters. If you’re planning to show up for lunch or dinner, be ready for a short wait in line. But, trust me, it’s well worth it.
I usually head to the Philly Cheesesteak vendor or find a blooming onion to snack on while strolling through the park to gaze at the various booths and see if anything catches my eye. This year, I arrived at the park a little early to see the booths as they opened for business as you can see in this video.
Later on, I stopped by a craft booth run by good friends of mine from Nebraska. Believe it or not, they used to babysit me when I was a kid! That means I am still young and they are old. They make many different designs with wood frames, wall mounts and end tables. I took a short video to show their booth and captured Toby “guarding the trailer” full of their stuff. I guess even guards need a nap now and then.
As I continued walking through the park, I found a Brookings staple. The festival wouldn’t be complete without SDSU ice cream available for dessert! It just proves this event has thought of everything.
All in all, the Brookings Summer Arts Festival is a great home-town event to attend. Every year, there’s something a little different, but plenty of the same things that keep you coming back. I know I look forward to it every year. If you weren’t able to make it this year, check it out in 2019. You won’t be disappointed.
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