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Summer Soulstice Arts Festival gearing up for first year

Mitchell Main Street & Beyond's Summer Soulstice Arts Festival is almost here.

The Summer Soulstice Arts Festival is Saturday in downtown Mitchell. The festival will run from noon to 8:30 p.m., with live music ending at 9:30 p.m.

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The festival returns after a three-year hiatus. The traditional community arts in the park was held in Hitchcock Park for more than 30 years. However, the last time the festival was held in Hitchcock Park was in 2008, said Lori Holmberg, executive director of the Dakota Discovery Museum and a volunteer with MMS&B.

A few other locations hosted the festival, including the Davison County Fairgrounds in 2009 and the Dakota Discovery Museum in 2010 and 2011. The festival ended in 2011, due to a lack of entrants. But MMS&B is bringing the festival back and hopes to reignite the tradition and draw crowds to the historic commercial district.

"It'll be in a little different venue," said Holmberg of the location of this year's festival. "But, the Mitchell area has really missed (the arts festival) and we need to take advantage of the location. We hope to have the same success with our festival that other communities have had recently."

More than 20 vendors have signed up for the festival. There will be live entertainment from regional and local artists, as well as art demonstrations.

Tom and Wanda Clarke, of Dakota Potter's Supply in Sioux Falls will hold raku pottery demonstrations at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. next to Potter's Plus Studio. Local artisan Clark Martinek, of Mitchell, will hold a blacksmith demonstration at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the intersection of Second and Main Street.

There will also be live music throughout the day from Sioux Falls' Elisabeth Hunstad and Mitchell's Billy Lurken, Jones & Co. and The Barbershop Chorus.

Chalk It Up, a kids sidewalk chalk event will kick off the day's festivities at 9 a.m. The event is free to youth ages 6 to 12. Kids will draw a picture on Main Street's sidewalks with the theme "Mitchell Through Your Eyes." To register your kids, call 990-4500.

For a full schedule of the Summer Soulstice Arts Festival, visit