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Upcoming Art Fairs Highlight Local Creativity

Where to head for the best Minnesota art fairs and festivals this summer


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We’re already midway through summer, and art fair season is in full swing. Although Minnesota is best known for its ceramic art, pottery, and sculpture are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the incredible work being done by artists throughout the state. Offering everything from elite juried exhibitions to showcases for aspiring artists, Minnesota’s summer art fair season highlights the vibrant local art scene and invites art lovers from around the country to do the same. If you’re wondering where to begin, look no further than our guide to this year’s highlights.

Detroit Lakes Arts and Crafts in the Park (7/24) More than 100 artists annually sell their wares at this picturesque lakeside festival in northwestern Minnesota. Locally made works in a variety of mediums—from large-scale furniture pieces to delicate jewelry—are on display. Authentic Ecuadorian music provides the soundtrack to the event, which includes a wood carving demonstration and a playground to keep the kids occupied. Detroit Lakes

Loring Park Art Festival (7/30-7/31) This festival, adjacent to the Walker Art Center, will highlight the top 140 jury-selected artists of various specialties to display their work. The boundary-pushing festival also welcomes visitors to watch as paintings are created in real time throughout the park grounds, learn how to design your own letterpress, participate in a Wine and Canvas mini-class, write spoken word poems, and much more. Minneapolis

River City Days (8/5-8/7) The home of Red Wing Pottery hosts an annual summer festival encompassing almost every facet of the local community. Apart from an arts and crafts festival, River City Days is comprised of a disc golf tournament, singing contest, medallion hunt, 5K run, and much more. Participating arts vendors include everything from chair makers to specialty food artisans. Red Wing

Uptown Art Fair (8/5-8/8) One of the most recognized art fairs in the country, the Uptown Art Fair annually welcomes around 400,000 visitors to see works by 350 jury-selected artists. New additions to this year’s fair include a screening of The Wizard of Oz in conjunction with the Film Society of Minneapolis-St. Paul and live music from local radio station Go 96.3. Minneapolis

Powderhorn Art Fair (8/6-8/7) This lakeside art fair annually funds many invaluable park events and programs. In keeping with the event’s collective-minded tone, its community showcase puts a spotlight on works by local and regional artists. Plus, organizers hope to make this year’s fair totally eco-friendly by encouraging the use of recycling and composting receptacles. Minneapolis

Northwoods Art and Book Festival (8/13) In addition to works by clay, paint, and other visual artists, a selection of authors will be on hand to discuss and sign their books at this Northwoods Arts Council-sponsored festival. Other events include poetry readings, face painting, and an awards ceremony honoring selected artists and authors. Hackensack

Art in Bayfront Park (8/18-8/21) Duluth’s annual fair was created with the goal of bringing the local community together through arts education. Attendees are invited to take classes with professional artists, and a designated space gives children the opportunity to create their own artwork. Proceeds from the sale of local art students’ work go to fund organizations combating homelessness. Duluth

Buffalo Arts & Crafts Festival (8/20) This annual festival takes over the streets of downtown Buffalo for a celebration of everyone from professionals to art hobbyists. Festival guidelines state that all aspects of the artists’ work must be created by hand, lending a rustic feel to the event that compliments its setting. Buffalo

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Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

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