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Friday, August 9, 2013

Well it’s official!  We are now entering into Fall mode here in Minnesota.  While the trees aren’t starting to change colors yet, and many will argue that we still have a good six more weeks of Summer ahead, the temperatures have been unseasonably cool this year.  Even without the cooler temperatures, August always seems to be the turning point towards Fall, as we celebrate a number of festivals and fairs that fill each weekend leading up to Labor Day and beyond. 
These events are set in motion on the first weekend in August when we celebrate three major Art Fairs here in Minneapolis – the Uptown Art Fair, the Loring Park Art Fair, and the Powderhorn Park Art Fair.  The largest of the three, the Uptown Art Fair, is held in my neighborhood and celebrated its fiftieth anniversary this year.  This fair begins on Friday afternoon and continues on to Sunday evening, with hundreds of exhibitors filling more than six blocks. 

Some of this year's souvenir t-shirts.
In addition to the vendors spilling down the streets here in Uptown, there is also a Youth Art Fair component held in Calhoun Square where local youth are able to sell their work.  I love that the Youth Art Fair was added a few years ago as it’s such a wonderful way to support and encourage our young people and their creativity.  
All three of the art fairs have their own distinct personality, with the Uptown Fair offering a bit more high-end merchandise, and a wide variety of mediums and selections.  The one thing that you are guaranteed at all three is lots of food vendors selling an assortment of food – including the must have fried cheese curds and mini donuts.

The must-have fried cheese curds!
Each year, I try to get to all three over the course of the weekend, but time availability and fatigue sometimes prevents that.  Also, parking at each location is somewhat problematic, but the city’s Metro Transit provides free rides between the fairs which cuts down on the traffic while helping to reduce our carbon footprint.  The Uptown Fair also provided a fenced in parking area for those people rode their bikes (Minneapolis has recently been named the number one biking city in the country).

The fenced in "Bike Coral" with some of the many bikes parked there.
I’ve chosen to focus on the Uptown Art Fair here, and I will be talking about the other two in my next post.  The wide variety of art throughout the weekend gives people lots of choices while ensuring that there is something for everyone.  
Here are a few photos from this year’s Uptown Art Fair.

"Well Hi there!"

Hundreds of people fill the Mall area in Uptown to shop with the Art Fair vendors.

I love most anything with a fox . . .

. . . Or with a fox in a box in a fox!

My friend Nick's Uncle and Aunt had an amazing jewelry booth at the fair.

The Graffiti Wall was new this year, and was a big hit with the youngsters.

Here are some photos from the Uptown Youth Art Fair.

Who could resist this lovable sheep family!

I loved these creative, and bright colored headband!

The water is made entirely of buttons.

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