If you’re looking for some fun in the sun that the whole family can enjoy this summer, look no farther than Aberdeen’s own backyard. In what’s been a weekend of fun, food and entertainment for over 40 years, Arts in the Park returns for its annual stay in Melgaard Park. Held rain or shine, this event features artists and fine craftsmen who produce visual work, arts or crafts of original concept, design, and execution from over 12 states, according to the Aberdeen Area Arts Council website. Last year, over a hundred vendors displayed their hand-crafted pieces and over 15 food booths participated for the weekend. An estimated 20,000 people browse the rows of exhibits each year in June, while enjoying everything from Indian Tacos to pulled pork sandwiches to deep fried mac n’ cheese. With shaved ice stations and old-fashioned root beer for sale, there truly is something for everyone.
In 1976, Aberdeen held its very first Arts in the Park with around 3,500 guests. Back then, the formal name was Aberdeen Arts Festival, though it was officially changed to its current and more popular name in 1999. A planning committee made up of volunteers originally organized the festival, but by 1999, the event had been turned over to the Aberdeen Area Arts Council, who still organizes it today.
This year, the two-day event will be held the weekend of June 17. The festival will be open from 10 AM to 6 PM Saturday and 10 AM to 5 PM Sunday. A complete list of exhibitors, food booths, and entertainers will be available around the first week of June. // — Erin Ballard
For more information, contact the Aberdeen Area Arts Council at 605-226-1557, or visit them at 225 3rd Ave. S.E.